Artist Ingrid Weyland is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay. From the series ‘Topographies of Fragility’. To see Ingrid ’s body of work, click on any image.
I went through a long process to reach “Topographies of Fragility”. Initially, I was mostly a portrait photographer, although nature was always present in one way or another in my work. The turning point was a trip I took from the south of Argentina to Greenland’s ice sheet. I forged an intimate connection with these unspoiled, surreal, immense landscapes that seemed to me to contain their own particular mood and beauty. It was on a return trip to Iceland some years later that I was overwhelmed by the changes that had taken place since my first visit in 2015. I noticed with sadness how people failed to stick to regulations, not respecting boundaries, and it had started to show on the landscape.
This exact moment marked my urgency to inspire change. I sensed that simply showing beautiful sceneries was not enough, I wanted to find a way of conveying both beauty and decay at the same time. I wanted my work to remind people of their impact on the planet, and to make them stop and think about what we stand to lose as a result of climate change.
In this ongoing series, I alter and perform violent gestures on a landscape chosen among my archive of images from my travels. The resultant crumpled image is then laid on top of the same untouched vista and rephotographed, drawing a parallel between my crumpled image and the way we humans treat nature as though it’s something disposable, to be discarded. This operation on the printed photographic paper allows me to reflect on the permanent and irreversible traces of my actions, in a poetic allusion to our relationship with our planet.
My current work doesn’t focus on specific local environmental issues, but rather serves as a metaphor for the fragility of nature, as well as the fragility of humanity itself.
It is said that a crumpled piece of paper can never regain its original shape; the trace persists. In the same way, nature which is disrespectfully invaded is forever broken, and many times unrecoverable.
All images and text © Ingrid Weyland
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