Gerd Tinglum Fjellsolblom

Arnica Alpina, Rare from 1999


Photo: The Norwegian National Museum

In 1991, the Tinglum series showed invisible, extinct and endangered species, which rendered 30 female portraits partially hidden by a plant. The portraits had the artist transferred directly from reference books and biographies. The plants - all rare, endangered or extinct species - were derived from botanical works. The pictured women are musicians, artists and poets that cover centuries cultural history: Sofonisba Anguissola, Rosalba Carriera, Corona Schroeter, Charlotte Brontë, Katherine Mansfield, Margaret McLachlan, Vanessa Bell, etc. To update the her time of being, Tinglum also has a portrait of herself and her mother. In self-conscious stubbornness, they testify of women's not always unaware efforts throughout the ages, and together they constitute the spiritual anegaly of feminism. The rare or endangered plants that partially hide their faces refer to the women's problematic and vulnerable position, invisibility and in many cases tragic fate. The pictures thus also become a kind of monumental epitaphium over creativity that was denied full depiction and recognition.

Ever since the 1970s, Tinglum has been working on a technique in which the coverage of the subject is essential for invisibility and pointing out freedom. This grip takes her back in the photo series. Both the motif and the portraits are telling themselves and confirming each other within a sphere where the problem acquires an eternal validity.

Nmk 2005 0533

Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) Sort skjæne, Schoenus nigricans, utryddet

Nmk 2005 0536

Irmtrat Morgner (1933–1990) Kubjelle, Pulsatilla pratensis, sterkt truet

Nmk 2005 0537

Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) Altaihaukeskjegg, Crepis multicaulis, utryddet

Text: Steinar Gjessing / Randi Godø — original photo format was 54,7 x 38 cm
From "Highlights, Art from 1945 to Today", The Norwegian National Museum 2015

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