Nature's pristine serenity is increasingly transformed by human activity, be it for better or for worse. Treading the line between installation art and nature photography, conceptual artist Rune Guneriussen creates works that pay homage to the tranquil landscapes of his native Norway, while also pointing out an almost ghostly, manmade presence in his photographs.
Beginning in 2005, Guneriussen has photographed his installations all over Norway. Using lamps, books, telephones and other manmade objects, the installations are site-specific, being inspired by the particular features and idiosyncrasies of the land.
Working alone to create these pieces, Guneriussen explains that his work aims to "indicate a path to understanding a story":
This process involves the object, story, space and most important[ly] the time it is made within. It is an approach to the balance between nature and human culture, and all the sublevels of our own existence. The work is made solely on site, and the photographs represents the reality of the installation itself.
Part of the story seems to be his titles, which are evocative of Nature's power in of themselves, like "Capacity to breed and recover," or "Originates from the outside" and "The mother of all good things".
Moreover, Guneriussen uses artificial lighting in herds of lamps that are deftly positioned to suggest otherworldly, animistic inhabitants of the landscape who bear witness to the cycles of seasonal change.
Guneriussen tells us that he also strives to use recycled materials, while employing a "leave no trace" approach:
More or less all materials used in my work is recycled, and bought or received from its previous owner. This goes for all the lamps, tables, books and so on. A different solution wouldn't work with this project. And more importantly is my own interaction with nature when I am out working. It is crucial that the location looks the exactly the same when I leave as it did when I started working there.
In the end, a sculptural playfulness co-exists with a haunting contrast between Nature's powerful forces and human whimsy in Guneriussen's works, making us wonder what will be the next chapter in this story. More great images over at Rune Guneriussen's website.