FROZEN HAWAII – NATURAL FASHION
The series is inspired by indigenous rituals and their relation to nature in particular those of the Suri tribe from the west side of the Omo River in the Omo Valley in the plains of south-western Ethiopia. The tribe members use their skin as a surface to express themselves artistically painting their bodies with pigments made from powdered volcanic rock as well as making elaborate headwear of flowers, fruits, leaves, grasses, shells and animal horns.
As an example see the German photographer Hans Silvesters’ photographs from the Omo Valley here.
The imaginary frame for this series exploration of natural set-ups is Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica the largest piece of no man’s land left on Earth. It is not a single continent but a series of islands covered by an ice sheet very similar to the geography of Hawaii.
Today cruise ships are regularly visiting Antarctica promoted by slogans like ‘Explore the Great White Continent Untouched by Man’, though you could say that Antarctica is indeed touched by Mandue to climate changes. In fact Pine Island Glacier by the coast of Marie Byrd Land is the fastest melting glacier in Antarctica, responsible for about 25% of Antarctica’s ice loss. As such Pine Island Glacier plays a significant role in a possible breakup of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet raising questions like:
What will happen to this unclaimed territory in the future when the ice has melted? Will Marie Byrd Land and The Pine Islands by its coast become a new surfers’ paradis like Hawaii and The Cold Hawaii in Northern Denmark?
How can Western people adjust to their non-human surroundings knowing that the longing for the untouched wilderness is long gone? As an explorer you traditionally claim, conquer and posses. As a tourist you ‘sight-see’. Is there another way to relate without distance? To inhabit and dwell? What is a tourist in this regard? What is exploration?
Explorer Number 1 is a self portrait staged at the last protected natural landscapes in Copenhagen – Amager Fælled, which is under threat due to new urban planning strategies. I’m wearing af bouquet of natural plants, some of which are seldom only living in areas like this like quaking grass, Cynosurus, fern-leaf dropwort, and Inula salicina.
See a video about this topic here. (in Danish)
Explorer Number 3 is inspired by extreme surfing in the frozen north of US. Floating on chunks of ice and surfing glacier waves created by falling ice: “waiting for the right direction of the glacier to fall down to actually create a wave.”
(Inspired by work of photographer Corey Wilson)
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