MAKING OF LIGHTMARE ISLAND (2015)

PART 1: SKETCHING

 
I start new work through sketching and writing. Lightmare Island began to take form in the framework of the "Islands" series. I had written a short description of a place called Lightmare Island, where lost dreams go to reborn as nightmares and the ground is barren except for giant, luminous flowers. This is a preliminary sketch of the island.

 
PART 2 - MATERIALS

 
I often use photographs I have taken while travelling as a central material. I browse my computer looking for specific or random sceneries. I tend to choose photographs that I shot on film and then scanned. For Lightmare Island, I wanted a faded photograph of hills and chose to print it on thin, grainy paper that would easily.
 
I had a clear vision of using tiny light bulbs to create a sort of crude, starlit sky. I finally found bulbs of a proper size and electrical wiring at an online shop for dollhouse furnishings. I painted the white plastic gold with nail polish. I bought blond clip-on fake hair to use as sort of waves. The flowers I cut out of postcards my mother had sent me. I like to think that the origin of all materials can have a symbolic meaning.
PART 3 - INSTALLATION & PHOTOGRAPHY

 
I make miniature landscapes with the prepared materials, first setting up my camera and the point of view. I shoot on medium-format film with natural light usually combined with one daylight coloured photo lamp. For Lightmare, I also used a gold reflector. The installations are constructed for the camera only and what happens outside the shot are mostly crude constructions of tape, wire and various household objects to use as weights or supports. I often end up holding the lamp in one hand, while simultaneously cocking the shutter and holding a wire or a reflector in the other.
PART 4 - FILM SCANNING & POST-PROCESSING

 
After having the film developed and scanning it, I look through the frames and decide on a possible reshoot. I shot Lightmare in two sessions to make changes to the original composition. Analogue "special effects" are a central part of my work, and I use digital manipulation only to remove dust speckles, tweak the colours and shades et cetera. When the image is done, I order test prints to check the colours and sharpness.
PART 5 - PRINTING & MOUNTING

 
I might tweak the colours a bit based on the test prints and then I order the actual works. As most of my images, Lightmare Island has an edition of 5. I usually stick with one size for all the copies, but for the island series I am including large-format ones as well as the 70 x 86 cm ones in the edition. Lightmare Island was mounted as fotosec (similar to silisec), with a 3 mm acrylic on top of the image and a dipond backing. Lightmare Island was first shown at Bury Art Museum in 2015 in the group exhibition New Narrative and Reader.