Imprints - PhMuseum

Imprints

Charlotta Hauksdottir

2017 - Ongoing

Formal Artist Statement

The physical space of landscapes can be closely tied to a person’s identity, sense of being, and infused with personal history. The composite, textured landscapes in the series “Imprints” are a re-creation of places and scenes from an estranged homeland. The series includes human scale composite images, images that utilize fingerprint patterns that evoke the uniqueness of our connection with nature, and abstract landscapes where several sheets of photographic paper with variable cutouts are layered together imitating landforms that have formed over time. The visible and obscured parts of the landscape suggest the interplay of effects between man and nature, as well as the imperfections of memory, with juxtaposed textures emphasizing the mind’s inability to retain and fully comprehend its environment. The discontinuity between the images also induces the viewer to draw on their own experiences to complete the work. Finally, by utilizing the textures of human fingerprints, the images speak to our individual responsibility for our impressions upon nature.

More background on the series

I was inspired to photograph the Icelandic landscape 15 years ago, after I moved to the United States, realizing how closely connected it was to my identity and sense of being. I have temporal lobe epilepsy that makes my memories and feelings seem fragmented and gives me a strong sense of displacement and deja-vu. This is reflected in much of my work and from the beginning I was disjointing the landscapes and rearranging it, creating fictional spaces. I travel extensively in Iceland and photograph hundreds of images in each location, from all vantage points. Then I work through the photographs and assemble them when I am back in California. The most recent work consists of images that utilize fingerprint patterns that evoke the uniqueness of our connection with nature, as well as abstract landscapes where several sheets of photographic paper with variable cutouts are layered together imitating landforms that have formed over time. The process involves extensive handcrafting both digitally and physically. To begin with, I choose 20-30 images that I feel belong together and create a mockup in Photoshop using masks and layers to roughly visualize the end result. I then do final digital processing of the image ensemble, print each image out, cut them up by hand, and assemble them into their 3D sculptural form using mixed media. The visible and obscured parts of the landscape suggest the interplay of effects between man and nature, as well as the imperfections of memory. I like to engage viewers emotionally and the discontinuity between the images induces them to draw on their own experiences to complete the work.

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