My photographs often tell the
story of what has taken place in front of the camera during the lengthy
exposure. I aim for simplification, straightforward visuality and an aesthetic
experience but these form just one part of my works. In addition to looking, I
want viewers to stop and think. We only see the surface of a landscape but we
can imagine its depth. The camera allows us to see things imperceptible to the
naked eye. We can see deep into space or catch sight of something in a forest that
would otherwise pass us by.
in the FOREST series are straightforward landscapes depicting a variety of
forests. We are all familiar with the sight of spruce, birch and mixed forests
but what is their essence? When all detail dissolves and the subject becomes
abstract, only the essentials, colour and shape, remain. The forest and the
plants are vertical, the landscape horizontal. Growth reaches torwards light,
life towards the new and the unknown. These are the forces that determine our
trajectory. We can imagine the forest growing, as over decades, the trees glide
towards the light.
In SOLAR INTENSITY I have sought to bring the sun into the night. Executed using a new
technique, this image features the same landscape during the day and at night,
captured from exactly the same position. When the landscape is made up of two
time spans, night and day meet in a way that we could normally never witness.
The time of day shapes the space, leaves a mark on its character. The place may
be the same, but the view is entirely different. The sun's intensity is
accentuated when contrasted with darkness. The time of year and the time of day
determine the angle at which the rays of this giant floodlight hit the earth.
The sun is an enormous and, from the human perspective, inexhaustible source of
energy. But have we realised its full potential? During the day we cannot look
into it and at night we cannot see it.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE EARTH series, I explore motion and the passage of time through fire and the stars. These works reveal what has happened in front of the camera during the long exposure and none of the effects are digitally enhanced. We know that someone has been present in the landscape but we cannot see them. The camera gives substance to the immaterial - here, the fleeting process of burning is made visible. Life is like a long burn. Fuel reacts with oxygen when we eat, breathe, live. Like the fire that brands a reminder of its brief existence on the landscape, so we make our small mark on our time. The life of the flame, drawn across the air, is a symbol for the twists and turns of life.
The artist Pekka Luukkola (b.1968 ) explores new ways of depicting landscapes and the passge of time in photography. Luukkola is one of the 2011 Ars Fennica nominees and winner of the 2008 Fotofinlandia competition. His latest exhibition forms part of his doctoral thesis on image quality at the Aalto University School of Arts and Creativity.