Shutter Hub Award Winner at Format Portfolio Review Awards: Silje Lovise Gjertsen

Silje Lovise Gjertsen was joint winner of the Shutter Hub Award at this year’s Format Portfolio Review Awards – so we thought we’d bring you a taste of her award winning series…

Shutter Hub were pleased to return to the Format International Photography Festival Portfolio Review this year (preceded by the wonderful National Photography Symposium) at Quad Derby. As in previous years, the Shutter Hub award is awarded to an outstanding nominee from the Portfolio Review at the awards ceremony, this year presented by Shutter Hub's Creative Development Director Karen Harvey.

This year the award was jointly awarded to Silje Lovise Gjertsen and Michael Hunter (and we’re hoping to follow up with more information on his winning project very soon), who both put forward very different and yet equally compelling works this year.

Silje Lovise Gjertsen’s project which is entitled A black hole in the ocean (images above) stood out for its emotional impact, and is described:

A black hole in the ocean. is the steady throb pulsing like a passage to the heart of the sea, cobalt and black. It pulls you through the darkness to a mysterious place somewhere in another reality. It begins an unknown journey into an unknown space.

A black hole in the ocean. references an outer space, a space we cannot see or touch; delving into a sense of falling; falling into yourself, into sleep, dreaming, depression, imagination or into loss.

Gjertsen rotates the land into an internal space — which lingers in-between time — by photographing fractions of enclosed landscapes without a horizon; capturing an emotion rather than a place. She looks for metaphorical elements in the details of the land to act as passages into different realities, to let them act as a portal into an emotive space — our inner space.

The work is influenced and inspired by the harsh Nordic climate on the west coast of Norway where she grew up. How the land is affected by the weather and sea is reflected in how she treats her photographic works in the darkroom, linking directly to the subject matter of her practice and its notions of temporality and deterioration.

The artist herself said of the experience this year:

Attending Format was a very positive, interesting and enjoyable experience. It was a great and invaluable opportunity to meet different people from the industry as well as other photographers and artists. Winning the Shutter Hub Award was a great surprise at the end of the day, I am looking forward to joining the Shutter Hub Community as well as continuing the lovely and productive conversation with Karen Harvey.

We hope to see more work by Silje Lovise Gjertsen in future. You can find out more about Format Festival here.



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