Cloud Hunter's Eyes

My photographic work Cloud Hunter’s Eyes approaches themes related to memory and forgetting. The question is also about vision and the gaze, but most of all about things that cannot be seen: the hidden, the concealed, emotions.

Visual perception is the ability to interpret visual information conveyed by light. Just like memories, visual images are not permanent; they reappear in the mind after a complicated process of recollection. Visual perception is extremely complex; how and what we see are very much influenced by personal and sensory experiences. We can try to explain the world verbally, but how we see and experience the space around us is difficult, even impossible to share with others fully.

As a photographer, I am interested in the process whereby images appear, how things become visible. We can see clouds in the shadows on a wall, a lamp shining in a room at night may seem like the full moon, an eye is inscribed on the bark of a tree. In spite of its apparent objectivity, the camera too allows us to create images that add an imaginary level to the everyday world, one that feeds our fantasy. The subjects of my photographs are these illusions and memories, woven into a fabric of time and memory in the exhibition.

A photograph is a fascinating amalgam of the present and the past, a simultaneous sense of presence and absence. A photograph is always in the present, yet the events portrayed in it are inevitably in the past. Memories evade our attempts to record them. Over time, our memories become distorted; they become blurred and sometimes make us feel an aching nostalgia. Time flies, it cannot be captured. Perhaps the most meaningful things happen somewhere beyond the gaze and time, in between things and people. Here and now.

Niina Vatanen

  • Clouds III, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 66 x 83 cm
  • Cloud Hunter, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 66 x 80,5 cm
  • Clouds I, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 45 x 57 cm
  • Two Mountains, 2013, c-print, wooden frame, glass, 33 x 46,5 cm
  • Lights (Years Ago), 2013, c-print, wooden frame, glass, 33 x 42,5 cm
  • Clouds II, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 34 x 42 cm
  • Ruth, 2013, c-print, wooden frame, glass, 33 x 42,5 cm
  • Full Moon, 2013, c-print, wooden frame, glass, 33 x 42,5 cm
  • Tête-à-Tête, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 52 x 70 cm
  • Options, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 102 x 125 cm
  • Scene, 2013, c-print on aluminum, 100 x 125 cm
  • Tree's Eye, 2013, c-print, wooden frame, glass, 33 x 27,5 cm
  • In One Second, 2013, cutting from Encyclopedia Pikku Jättiläinen (1958), inkjet print, wooden frame, glass, 33 x 27,5 cm