Hemsedal, Norway, 2019
The vastness of this Norwegian landscape invokes feelings of astonishment and isolation. There is a juxtaposition between the spiking and unforgiving mountain skylines and the delicate cottages nestled amongst the trees and slopes. These picturesque views can heighten feelings of loneliness and insignificance. Generally these emotions would be considered negative yet that does not seem the case here. Like in the philosophical idea of the Sublime, these emotions shift to positive. This philosophy puts an emphasis on individualism, emotion, personal spirituality and reflection. In turn, this leads to initial negative emotions to change and grow into feelings of; alone but not lonely; insignificant but not meaningless. Man-made structures within this environment demonstrate a Romantic respect for nature, man peacefully co-existing with a limitless and wild natural landscape of which they cannot control reminds us of our obligation to prescribe our own meaning to the world and that which inhabits it.
The Sublime in short:
‘The inconceivable of that which is great.’
text by: Clare McNicholas and Esther Máire
In my work I research our landscape. Search for familiar and simultaneously unfamiliar places and subjects that are an example or even metaphor for human behaviour. I find these (un)familiar landscapes intriguing as the spaces that surround us have become so common, we no longer notice how extraordinary they can be.
Although I am thoroughly fascinated and amazed by human and societal behaviour, I work with the absence of humans in human made structures. My interest lies in what our surroundings say about us. Our presence lingers in our absence, like an echo or residue of our existence. Humans are intricate creatures but what we leave behind us, to me, is more clear, less interrupted.
© text and pictures by Esther Máire