Last May I traveled to Nepal with Norwegian clothing designer Leila Hafzi.
She had decided to become a designer at the top of the mountains in Nepal 15 years prior and wanted to return to that very place of her commitment as a location for her anniversary collection look book.
For our second collaboration Leila wanted to shoot home in Norway with the archetypal Norwegian woman as her inspiration.
Leila describe this archetype that inspired the collection and designs done for knitwear company Sandnes garn like this:
“She is a young Krisin Lavransdatter, the singing Kari Knutsdotter and the Viking chieftain’s only daughter.
She is a wood nymph and a Birkebeiner on the ice – but most of all she is the Norwegian / Scandinavian woman: Strong, proud and fearless.”
(These are all mythical female characters from Norwegian tales, both historical and fictional…)
So solidly grounded in both our Norwegian heritage I started to think about how and where to take these images.
Norway is one amazing country but there truly was just one place for me this could be photographed: In the area around the village where my father grew up.
Sitting among the dramatic mountains and fjords of Norway’s West Coast is this extraordinary place called Flo…
In a visual career one can look back at the work produced and see how it has drifted and how upbringing and heritage have shaped the artist and his or her esthetic.
In looking back at my own career and the images I have produced it’s easy for me to see in the photographs I have taken where and who I was as a person through out these 20 years. It’s all reflected in the subject matters I chose to photograph and how I chose to depict them at the time. The longings, the ambitions, the insecurities, the times I were restless, the times I was calm the times I was seeking and the times I felt at home.
In all these variations though there’s a very singular visual backbone that carries through all the work I do. This thread is my visual heritage and, to me, so undeniably Norwegian. It’s influenced by these amazing landscapes of Norway, the bigness of the mountains coming straight of the water and the vastness of the land. All this enhanced and shaped by the low laying northern sun.
So here I was, going back to Norway to photograph in the environment I knew had greatly influenced both the way I see things as a photographer and the values I carry with me…
I’m excited to share with you the work I did with Leila Hafzi and Sandnes garn this past June. A combination of inspired Norwegian Knitwear, the Archtype of the strong Norwegian Woman and me going home…
Too see how all this came together check out the Behind The Scenes.
Again I’m in such gratitude to Leila and her inspirations for giving me another adventure and set of experiences.
A big thanks to Monkey Productions and the locals of Stryn and Flo for graciously helping with all our odd requests…