Birthe Havmøller – Artist’s Statement
Artist’s statement and images by Birthe Havmøller (editor of Feminine Moments)
Birthe Havmøller: There are artworks that will never be shared on the Internet… Works that are too private or too “special” to be shown online. They are jewels to be viewed in person only.
The works that I present here are from an ongoing series titled: Nature Hidden in Plain Sight.
My photography is an intuitive process. There are things we do not have words for. This is where the visual language takes over both in reality and in our dreams and meditations. It is an ongoing process to create a unique visual language. I started working on my first photo-based art projects in the late 1980s. My imagery is informed by my urge to stay connected with Nature in a world that goes the opposite way; and to some extent it is also informed by my life as a marginalised Lesbian feminist artist and editor of Feminine Moments… always working on multiple projects at the same time.
I was confused by people’s reactions when Covid happened, but pleased to hear that many people wanted to spend their time in social isolation during the lockdowns, re-connecting with the land.
“Fast” is not a phenomenon that exists in my hands-on creative process of making fine art archival prints. I have had to figure out ways in which to live with my slow creative process, making my creative practice feel lively and meaningful though it goes on “forever”. If and when, I feel a body of work has come to a temporary hold then I have to let it “marinate” and I start working on another art project. As I have no close colleagues and I do not get any feedback from other people, it is important for me to let a series of works sit on a shelf for months on end until I am ready to look at it with fresh eyes.
Creating a body of work that is ready to be exhibited has always been a slow process for me, especially when I do not have any deadlines… I have fought many inner battles throughout the years about the fact that I was not working fast enough to keep up with my productive colleagues. Recently, I have been going deeper into the process of connecting to my “old images”, scanned negatives (from the days of analog photography), and matching them with my recent digital photographs. It makes sense to work in this way; to connect my archive (of negatives) with my recent photos, creating “portals” for the past to speak to us here in the present.
My friends often want to know where an image was taken. But it is really not important to know where they were taken in Denmark or somewhere else in Northern Europe. I am not telling a documentary story. My works are poems about my inner landscapes.
A hill is a hill until you see it as a holy mountain and a sacred place belonging to our ancestors.