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La curación del duelo

Seija Ulkuniemen valokuvanäyttely esillä Granadan yliopiston taiteiden tiedekunnan galleriassa

15.5.2018

Seija Ulkuniemen valokuvanäyttely "La curación del duelo" (Surutyössä parantaminen) on esillä Espanjassa Granadan yliopiston taiteiden tiedekunnan galleriassa 14.-24.5.2018.

Teos on tehty valokuvaterapeuttisessa hengessä: kuvasarjat kertovat erilaisista rituaaleista, joita Ulkuniemi teki pyrkiessään toipumaan isänsä kuolemasta.

Kokonaisuus on toteutettu yhteistyössä Rosy Martinin kanssa.

Healing in mourning (surutyössä parantaminen)
Seija Ulkuniemi
in collaboration with Rosy Martin
2016

I made these three photo series as part of a meditation upon my Dad who died in a car accident in 2010. I tried to give space to all the emotions from rage to sadness and from a sense of loss to embarrassment. I hoped to get some healing – relief from the immense mourning.

My Dad was born in a smoke sauna in Lapland, in a small isolated village. Later in his life he built a cottage close to his native home. I went to this rural area in a forest, and by the lake started to trifle with some of his belongings.

I wore a Japanese kimono to help myself feel the mystery of a ritual. I took my Dad’s handkerchief and started to play with it with my hands. I put the tissue on my face, and suddenly I could cry out loud, let loose the rage caused by the sudden loss. The handkerchief was so light that it could almost fly like a bird. Could it fly away and take with my heavy heart?

My Dad was a man of the woods: alongside of his job as a teacher, he spent lots of time outside fishing, hunting and working with forestry. He used to wear a fur hat – even in summer time! My Dad’s fur hat with its certain smell evoked in me memories of his presence. I caressed the hat, and started to dance in the lake holding it in my hand, not wearing anything on me. I felt a special kind of freedom and relief as water was taking care of my grieving body. In the end, I put the hat on my head. It gave me comfort: touching it helped me to remember the feeling of safety my Dad gave me.

Finally, I went to back to the village where I nowadays live. My Dad had built here a home where I had lived my teenage years, and had returned to live later in life when I already had my own family with husband and three children. My Dad lived close to us as our neighbor. I had found out that in this village in the bushes close to the river there was an almost decomposed boat with moss. For me it represented both a womb and death. I went under the boat, as into a womb, reached out, and finally crawled on the boat, rested there as having reached the eternal peace. I was thinking that we all have come from the earth, and we will return to earth, but love will go on.

I worked in collaboration with Rosy Martin. We established a deep connection, a relationship of safety and trust in which each could speak of her experiences of bereavement. In this potential space, it became possible to explore inner and outer realities. I directed how I wanted the images to look and with Rosy’s support touched the depths of emotion I wanted to represent. Later I chose and edited the photos I wanted to use to express the process and my feelings.

LaY/Viestintä/J-EK

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