If you read this blog or know my personal history, you are aware of the obvious fact that I love Nordic artistic expression.
There is something about the combination of wealth, social justice, harsh climate with a bit of loneliness which always lends such poetry to the arts coming from the North.
Having acquired such a taste, I must say I am always on the lookout for northern expressivity.
That’s how I came across the incredible work of Finnish photographer Riitta Päiväläinen:
Through pictures of old garments, she explores a subject that is very dear to me, that of untold stories.
In her own words:
The main theme and primary driving force of my work is my interest in old clothing. In my photographs, I use discarded clothes from second-hand shops and flea markets. I am interested in old garments, because they carry silent, unknown stories and histories. The unavoidable fact that I will never know the actual stories and personal histories connected with the clothes arouses my curiosity. The clothes remain silent withholding their secrets. Little by little, personal histories are absorbed into the collective history.
It is so mind-catching and stimulating to wonder about not only the origins of our possessions but also the history they carry with them.
Being an avid secondhand enthusiast, I dare say her Vestige series has forever changed the way I look at my belongings.
Being made to think always excites me.