by: Beatrice Alvestad Lopez , June 17, 2020
by: Beatrice Alvestad Lopez , June 17, 2020
By paying mindful attention to small details—such as the textures and colours of nature—I developed a connection with Gorvik (Iceland) during my daily walks, as if I were becoming a part of its soil. Fuelled by instinct, the photographs presented here came about as ‘on-the-spot’ and spontaneous interactions—the loving result of repetitive gestures, though seemingly mundane, that became akin to ritualistic actions. These images are formed out of my desire to open up and fine-tune my consciousness with/to the spirit of the Icelandic landscape. In creating from local residue rather than acquiring new material, I have gained a sense of joy and purposefulness.
In his essay ‘The Rotation of Crops: A Venture in the Theory of Social Prudence’, Søren Kierkegaard writes, ‘The more a person limits himself [sic], the more resourceful he [sic] becomes.’ Kierkegaard’s invocation of resourcefulness gleaned from limitation resonates deeply with me as an artist. Moreover, his conviction that restrictions offer an opportunity to undo ourselves appears very relevant to our current pandemic. Following a slower pace while experiencing a pause on our journey through life might be just the right occasion to revise the meaning of our previous or normal connection to nature, perhaps even encourage a shift towards social and environmental healing.
What at first sparked ‘Blue River’, ‘Worm Workings’ and ‘Presence’ were tiny details and nuances in the landscape—the blue-tinted shell layered with the flowing water, the white shell contrasted by black sand and the yellow-coloured stone against darker grey stone. In drawing on distinctions, merging, repeating and placing these details into larger sculptural patterns, I attempted to initiate a dialogue of care and ritual for the land. The process relied on patience and perseverance, resulting in vulnerable and ephemeral works that break off material attachment to art as commodity.
These works are intended to entail more than sculptural form and photographs. They form an environmental statement to reconnect and unify with long lost ecological and ancient narratives. When I was creating them, on several occasions, seals would pop their heads up from the water to make eye contact. This sight convinced me that I was on the right path. Now, I believe it is the time to create rituals, be part of nature and restore balance. We must dare to be vulnerable as we are at a tipping point in history in which we sorely need truth, deep inward reflection and weighted collective actions. Most importantly, we must actively protect the land and its indigenous cultures. By way of conclusion, the words of E. O. Wilson in Biophilia seem apposite: ‘To explore and affiliate with life is a deep and complicated process in mental development. Our existence depends on this prosperity, our spirit is woven from it, hope rises on its currents.’
WHO SUPPORTS US
The team of MAI supporters and contributors is always expanding. We’re honoured to have a specialist collective of editors, whose enthusiasm & talent gave birth to MAI.
However, to turn our MAI dream into reality, we also relied on assistance from high-quality experts in web design, development and photography. Here we’d like to acknowledge their hard work and commitment to the feminist cause. Our feminist ‘thank you’ goes to:
Dots+Circles – a digital agency determined to make a difference, who’ve designed and built our MAI website. Their continuous support became a digital catalyst to our idealistic project.
Guy Martin – an award-winning and widely published British photographer who’s kindly agreed to share his images with our readers
Chandler Jernigan – a talented young American photographer whose portraits hugely enriched the visuals of MAI website
Matt Gillespie – a gifted professional British photographer who with no hesitation gave us permission to use some of his work
Julia Carbonell – an emerging Spanish photographer whose sharp outlook at contemporary women grasped our feminist attention
Ana Pedreira – a self-taught Portuguese photographer whose imagery from women protests beams with feminist aura
And other photographers whose images have been reproduced here: Cezanne Ali, Les Anderson, Mike Wilson, Annie Spratt, Cristian Newman, Peter Hershey