Opening as soon as possible – APR 5th 2021
With her reticent portraits, hushed interiors and lingering attentiveness to the transformative processes of nature, Danish photographic artist Trine Søndergaard creates works that connect stories across and beyond time. Nearly Now is the artist’s latest solo exhibition of brand-new works at Gammel Holtegaard.
People, nature, architectural spaces and traditional clothing are among Søndergaard’s motifs of choice. In her highly sensual, razor-sharp works, the artist chooses a subject she then uses the lens of her camera to explore and unfold in serial works. What all Søndergaard’s works have in common is an inherent interest in time, or perhaps rather the dissolution of time. Trine Søndergaard’s works traverse time, connecting the past and the present, history and our own age.
Søndergaard’s works enter a dialogue with the historical architecture and Baroque garden of Gammel Holtegaard. The exhibition presents a large body of works made specifically for the art space, such as series of the empty galleries, the historical variety of apple grown here, silk dresses, and local embroidery from the 18th and 19th century – around the time Gammel Holtegaard was built.
Based on her investigation of time, Søndergaard creates evocative works that stir the senses and imagination. Her motifs invite us to dwell on details and gradual changes in the physical world that might otherwise escape us. Using the medium of photography, she scans and registers the realm between visibility and invisibility, such as the slow process of hair turning grey as we age.
Photography is often associated with freezing fleeting moments, so there is something almost paradoxical about Søndergaard’s insistence on slowing down to explore the empty, silent and unhurried. This applies to the feeling as well as the subjects and themes of her works. The artist’s motifs are simple, yet they point to something intricate and complex. Søndergaard is interested in where language stops – and how she can capture a mood or emotion.
Trine Søndergaard’s works rest authoritatively between documentarism and staged photography. At the same time, her precise photography is often compared to paintings by major figures in art history: the muted interiors of Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi and the sensitive portraits of Johannes Vermeer. Søndergaard’s works are characterised by her choice of motifs with historical traces that she presents in a contemporary or timeless context.
Interview with Trine Søndergaard from the exhibition Nearly Now at Gammel Holtegaard:
Author Merete Pryds Helle tells about her fascination for Trine Søndergaard’s works and the parallels she sees between her own writings and Trine Søndergaard’s art.
Installation views from Nearly Now at Gl. Holtegaard. Photos David Stjernholm