Julia Weckman

Cable Gallery, 2006


Wanderer – Vaeltaja, Cable Gallery, Helsinki, 2006

My passion for landscape and to photograph landscape in my art started from an strong experience I had in the middle of a storm in Hungarian countryside seven years ago. Later my thoughts in landscape photography grew even stronger, when I was working in North Norway, in the shores of The Arctic Sea. Through my landscape and nature experiences I felt the world was offering us miracles around us all the time, we just have to be open and ready to see them. It grew to be a life philosophy for me. All the things that matter can be in this moment, and I don’t have to search for the better all the time. I have to learn to stop and to see.

I thought about the “miracle” as an active/passive event. Does the “miracle” exist in the landscape/nature and I just photograph it, or does the miracle happen possibly because of my actions, when I take the photograph and leave something out of it. The feeling of being a small individual in front of the great scenery, in the middle of the powerful nature was already very special and at the same time relaxing. I could let go, loose control and be swept away by a strong blowing wind, and it would not be even noticed. The world would keep on turning. This experience of the landscape has given the energy and power for many of my landscape pictures, photographs and paintings, as it is to this Wanderer exhibition. A certain strong feeling in many places is familiar. Confronting the landscape feels like coming home. Photographing helps me to clear this personal experience of the seen landscape. The scenery might be new to me, but somehow I already know it. It is something which is built in me. A cultural archetype of an landscape?

In the early romanticism, in 17th century, the landscape painters were already amazed of the landscape. I can feel their paintings and thoughts near mine even the times have changed. A German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich was showing the audience landscape and its divine power. In his paintings there was very often a human figure standing and wandering the opening landscape. In my series “Art in Progress”, I comment on Friedrichs paintings and the figure in them. My series has an origin of an authentic situation, where an artist photographer is trying to catch the opening scenery. In the sudden moment I could see a pastis of Friedrichs paintings, and also myself as an artist photographer. I saw myself being a serious artist, showing the people the mighty power of landscape through my work. I felt laughing, When you bow to this direction, you show your ass to the other.

When you look at the pictures in the series “Art in Progress” you can think what have I been photographing. The amazing landscape? The bending and bowing female, which is there only to get attention to my otherwise boring landscapes? This is of course nowadays often used in media. The thought is free. For me the series is beautiful and amazing. It represents the experience of landscape, the amazement and yes, it also makes me laugh.

The series “Out of Focus” also makes me laugh. My blurry photographs (meant to be a literal study of how to make at that time very popular “pictorial photograph”) were shown to be mistakes for the instant picture shop in Helsinki and they refused to develop the pictures or take any charge from the film developing. Me and the shop worker just had a different view on the world. This kind of incidents make the artist photographers work so much more interesting.

(Click the images for right and larger size)