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Feb
13

Exhibition: ‘Carine Thevenau: Return To Huldra’s Wood’ at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 13th February – 9th March 2013

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Sometimes I just want to surround myself with objects that are beautiful, that give me pleasure in the act of looking. I just want to look at a photograph that is beautiful, just because it is that. This exhibition is one such case. In the small, darkened gallery at Edmund Pearce in Melbourne these photographs radiate beauty. Despite a too regular hang and photographs of bouquets of flowers that don’t really move the work forward, the overall feeling of the ensemble is one of serenity and contained ecstasy. As was said of Catherine Opie’s work recently these lyrical visions evoke formal classicism, [are] beautifully elegant compositions that immerse and seduce the eye.1

The exhibition is rather let down by one of the worst sentences in a media release that I have not had the pleasure of reading in a long time: “Carine’s pictures sway from using over exposed lighting techniques, hinting at the sublime, to implementing a dimly lit chiaroscuro effect whereby an undeniable darkness is evident, all the while remaining beautiful.”

Who writes this stuff? The sentence makes no sense at all.

Carine’s pictures “sway” (?????) … overexposure techniques hint at the sublime (!!!!!!), a dimly lit chiaroscuro effect (what?), an undeniable darkness (!?!?!??!!) – and guess what, using light and dark lets the image “remain beautiful” = the massacre of the English language!!

Dr Marcus Bunyan
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Many thankx to Edmund Pearce Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Carine Thevenau
Ulda. The Arctic Fairy
2013
Archival Pigment Print
80 x 60 cm
Edition of 10 + 2 AP

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SL3-WEB

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Carine Thevenau
Deep Inside Lillomarka
2013
Archival Pigment Print
80 x 60 cm
Edition of 10 + 2 AP

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Edward S. Curtis. 'Lucille, Dakota Sioux' 1907

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Edward S. Curtis
Lucille, Dakota Sioux
1907

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Carine Thevenau. 'Tryst East of Morskogen' 2013

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Carine Thevenau
Tryst East of Morskogen
2013
Archival Pigment Print
80 x 60 cm
Edition of 8 + 2 AP

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Return To Huldra’s Wood is a visual exploration into Scandinavian Folklore. A Huldra is a mythical character who lives deep in the forests of Sweden and Finland. Also known as Pine tree Mary or Skogsfu (in Norway) this secret woodland dweller lures her prey into the darkness of night and underneath the heavy branches she is known to do unspeakable things. The Huldra appears in many fairy tales written by Peter Christen Asbjornsen. The origins of the tales stem from Christianity, whereby old stories of Eve forgetting to wash all her children prior to a visit from God forced her to hide the dirty ones. As a result God decreed these children to be hidden and forbidden from contact with the rest of mankind. These children are said to have been named Huldrer. The Huldra represents a deep fear of the wild, of sexuality and of otherness.

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Huldra’s Wood

When early springtime’s night winds sing
around the steaming cattle byre,
and smoke curls high through wicker slats
above the dancing Great Hall fire;
Old women pull the children near,
with knowing looks well understood;
Tonight only a fool would stray
within the groves of Huldra’s Wood.

As daylight leaves the greening fields
and sunset paints the pale sky gold,
As far horizons fade to blue
and nightingales sing shrill and cold;
The adder in his hide curls safe
from those who seek his serpent’s blood,
he sleeps within the old stone cairn
that marks the edge of Huldra’s Wood.

Above us rides the scar-faced Moon
amongst the stars in wanton haste,
whilst in the trees the tawny owls
cry shuddering across the waste
that separates our steading from
the Elfhane Host in cap and hood;
they frolic now, unbidden, deep
within the groves of Huldra’s Wood.

-  Alan Hodgson

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Recently a speaker at the International Design Conference, AGIdeas and previously nominated by industry leader, Capture Magazine, for the Emerging Editorial Photographer of the Year Award, Carine Thevenau’s photographic work has appeared in such publications as Rollingstone, iD Magazine, Vogue, Smith Journal and is a Senior Photographer at Frankie Magazine.

Carine’s pictures sway from using over exposed lighting techniques, hinting at the sublime, to implementing a dimly lit chiaroscuro effect whereby an undeniable darkness is evident, all the while remaining beautiful.”

Press release from the Edmund Pearce website

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Carine Thevenau
Skogsra (Forest Spirit)
2013
Archival Pigment Print
80 x 60 cm
Edition of 10 + 2 AP

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Carine Thevenau
Huldra of The Norse
2013
Archival Pigment Print
80 x 60 cm
Edition of 10 + 2 AP

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Carine Thevenau
Witness in Bymarka
2013
Archival Pigment Print
80 x 60 cm
Edition of 10 + 2 AP

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Carine Thevenau
Pine Tree Mary
2013
Archival Pigment Print
100 x 75 cm
Edition of 5 + 2 AP

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Edmund Pearce Gallery
Level 2, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street (corner Flinders Lane)
Melbourne Victoria 3000

Opening hours:
Wed – Sat 11 am – 5 pm

Edmund Pearce Gallery website

Carine Thevenau website

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Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘The Songs of Eternity’ 1994

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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