Julia Weckman

Mental Traveler
Gallery Peri Turku, 2013


Mental Traveler, Gallery Peri, Turku
Solo exhibition in august-september 2013

“The Mental Traveler exhibition is about landscape, exploration and well, call it wistfulness.

The theme of traveling or landscape is common, familiar, even mundane. Humans longing to find, explore and conquer is centuries old, surely millennia. Because of its compelling force we have brought faraway things closer.
Interpreting and observing landscape through my own emotion has become vital to me. The meaning was found years ago and thereon stuck on me, lived with me. In a way, landscape is a form of expression to me, a miscellaneous and changeable medium from which I reflect my emotions. When I feel bad, the landscape grows smaller than me and I feel smothered. Then I try almost compulsively to create artificial spaces. When I feel good, the expanse of the landscape breathes with me and all is reachable.

My exhibition deals with the more personal side of landscape and exploring; seeing, finding the essential, leaving elsewhere or traveling, yearning for freedom, the fear of the blinding desperate space are behind my images. I distance my personal feelings and experiences through the means of photography, the works may seem clinical. However, they are born of strong emotion.

Occasionally, I feel the need to escape my own life somewhere. To freedom? But would I ever reach my destination as a traveler? Is traveling or my romanticized view of the journey toward freedom but a grand illusion? Myself, looking at my work, I feel i.a. longing, melancholy and wistfulness. Words I affiliate with my works are essential, simple, restlessness, elsewhere, ease, freedom, departure.

Landscapes and images of leaving are in the spotlight of my exhibition. Portrait series of the likes of me, mothers of small children in expedition uniforms proves I am not alone with my wanderlust. There are seemingly more of us!

I read the book Walking by Henry David Thoreau sometime. The text haunted me for years. It still does. The message of the book was: To leave is most important.”

(Click the images for right and larger size)