I have started working with images of eyes in 2013 during my stay at the artist in residency at the Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai. Maybe I have got my inspiration from the many different faces and eye forms of the Chinese people from different ethnical groups. There were so many unfamiliar combinations of faces and eye forms and colors! Maybe it was my own blindness approaching and helplessness in regard to moving around and seeing the world? I have been taking thousands and thousands of images.
When I came back home to Norway, the process of developing a concept for an exhibition or a project has begun. I wanted to transform eye forms into something else and decided to do so by enlarging the images to very big sizes and transferring them onto semitransparent materials. At such a transition the quality of the images would make all the difference.
I started with building a super big format macro camera. The next step was to capture enough different people in order to have a sufficient variety of forms and colors. Each person has been photographed with three different cameras, from big format to video.
My negatives were 150 x 150 cm.
Silk has been soaked in two different emulsions, dried and contact copied from the big negatives in the sun. In order to make a contact copy in that format I have prepared a wooden plate, covered it with a sponge mattress and a glass plate. After the handmade emulsions dried, silk had to be placed on the frame, stretched with pins and covered with the glass plate, all in the dark. So the whole sandwich had to be carried out into the sun, exposed, carried in and unpacked. Silk had to be washed, dried and ironed later.
I have used silk as it turned to be for the Moscow exhibition, as it was easier to transport. The images breathed and moved in the big room, they were visible from both sides.
For the next exhibition in Sandefjord in Norway I made special forms out of plastic tubes and bended metal pipes in the corners to stretch the silk. Each picture had to be sawn first, stretched on the frame and covered with silk ropes around the frames in order to make a nice finish. I also used metal thread formed as an eye drawing and hang overhead lenses in the middle.