PAPAY GYRO NIGHTS 2014 featured artist: Tonje Bøe Birkeland

Tonje Bøe Birkeland Papa Westray orkney

Tonje Bøe Birkeland: LUELLE MAGDALON LUMIÉRE @ Papay Gyro Nights 2014, Papa Westray, Orkney. 15-22 february


Travels and the act of staging is the starting point of my projects. Photographs combined with text and found objects shape The Characters. The journey is a metaphor for an inner journey. The characters represent the creative artist, simultaneously founded in the past and as extended self-portraits. Each character represents aspects of my own personality, yet they are more often than not universal – generally applicable to the human race. The characters remind us about the passage of time and how we create history.

The timeless landscapes become stages for time travel, journeys back in time, as they show us eternity, a sensation of timelessness and suggest the possibility of new discoveries.

As an artist I embark on an adventure. The experiences from these journeys reshape the story of each character – an exchange where I am depending on my own experiences to create the story of someone else. An artistic development within my own framework creates a limit that I consider motivating, rather than limiting. I lend methods from literature, well known to authors of fiction. The framework starts the creative process: The fiction demands freedom, and then it gradually shapes the narrative, and in this way suggests the continuation, the travel route. The Character comes into shape. I travel in space, through an attempt to travel in time, to stage and photograph another woman and her stories.

Past becomes a method to realize what we are a part of. Maybe we miss how Unknown Territory, open space where no name or details are mapped yet, created wanderlust – and how the physical experience of a journey symbolized an inner journey towards independence, comprehension and inner consciousness.

THE CHARACTERS # I-III (2008-2013)

Since 2008 I have been constructing The Characters, alter egos with given names, eras, personalities and desires. The task to create their stories has been driving my artistic practice:

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