THE BROTHERS AND OTHER STORIES | ELIN HØYLAND
MARCH – APRIL 2013
Having commenced her career in photojournalism, photographer Elin Høyland has been developing insightful portraiture projects based on long-term engagement with her subjects since the early 2000s.
While developing a project entitled ‘belonging’ (portraits of two people with a deep and generally long standing relationship to each other) she became aware of brothers Harald and Matthias Ramen (aged 75 and 80) living in an isolated hamlet in central Norway and eking out a simple, meditative and even existentialist way of life in a starkly beautiful landscape which the 20th century seems to have bypassed.
Høyland’s work, which is beautifully reproduced in an accompanying book published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, is informed by a documentary imperative – the urge to tell a story and to shine a light into dark corners – but delivered with the insights and engagement of a practitioner freed from the urgent deadlines of photojournalism and newspaper copy dates. And yet although transcendently beautiful and displaying the enduring versatility of black and white photography Høyland’s work is unsentimental. As photographer and writer Gerry Badger puts it “(there is) a clear acceptance (in Høyland’s photographs) that this is a way of life which may be changing, but whether this is something that should occasion regret is another matter”.
For her exhibition in Luton Høyland will also show selected images from two other portrait series: Intimate Glimpses and Open Space each based on an intensive engagement with a ‘couple’: two people related by blood, love or habit.