Born in Bergen – a city surrounded by seven mountains – situated on the west coast of Norway, Helén Petersen found much inspiration for her enigmatic intimate photography. With it’s many islands, islets and fjords, rugged, lush country coupled with the dappled light of the foliage in the forests play host to her sitters and still life imagery. Using the skills from her background in painting, drawing and sculpture Helén Petersen carves out her black and white narratives with verve.
From childhood to adulthood Petersen has island-hopped. Being close to the sea is a necessity for her. In 1994 she settled on the tiny island of Halsnøy – the Pearl of the Hardangerfjord – so called because of its extraordinary beauty and varied landscape. Now settled on the island next to it in Stord her photographs are taken close by to her home. Her models vary from those close to her including her own four children.
Like fractures of memories, triggered by an object, a scent or a half remembered mood her aesthetic takes on a dreamlike quality. The contemplative notions of silence permeate throughout, resulting in the final magical moment in her darkroom when printing her own silver gelatin prints. Her prints are are exquisite, with large works displaying her great darkroom expertise.