I make pictures to explore the world and in some ways my photographs make me see the world through different eyes. But as I have confessed earlier I can’t make fiction, I can only retell stories I know or have heard of, and that is why the myths are so important in my photography. Artists have always looked to the myth to find inspiration, and I’m no different. I think the reason is simple; we as humans love stories. In classic literature the myths represent some really great stories; I explore the stories that I love in my still life photography.
One of the myths that I come back to repeatedly is the myth about Icarus. You have heard the story before about Daedalus and Icarus who were imprisoned in the labyrinth of Crete that was built for the Minotaur. In the myth they escape when Daedalus made two pairs of wings for them from wax. But as you probably know, once they had left the labyrinth and were in the air, Icarus got so excited about his ability to fly that he flew too close to the sun . His wings melted and he fell into the sea.
There are so many aspects of this myth that keep me coming back to it. First is the fathers wish to give his child a better life, something we all can understand and sympathize with. Another is the child’s hubris of thinking he can do what ever he wants to do and refuses to listen to his parent. Haven’t we all done that? The feeling of loss that Daedalus has to bear for rest of his life, and so on…
The myth of Icarus makes me ask questions about life and through my still life photographs I explore these questions. If you have ever wondered why my troopers wear wings now you know that one reason is the myth of Icarus. With his wings he may have the ability to escape the labyrinth, or his prison, or leave his childhood behind, and maybe he’ll get another destiny than that of those before him, or maybe the sun will burn him too. I don’t know.
Do you use myths as a source for inspiration for you work? Or what stories make you want to explore the world through photography?
…and those pink wings are something I got from Shelly. She thought I needed a trooper with pink wings as well as one with blue ones. Isn’t he lovely :)