Galerie Maria Lund

Light Break
unique light exposure, C-type color paper
28 x 23,6 cm - 2014

The artist’s approach is at the frontier between the documentary and the visual arts. The works from his last series, Light Break- Photography/Light Therapy reveal in appearance an abstract, minimal and contemplative photography. The sun is at the same time the tool, the matter and the motif.

This ensemble was born from the artist’s interest for medical research and Nobel Prize Niels Ryberg Finsen (1860-1904), who had during his time established an ensemble of lenses capable of isolating the ultraviolet and infrared rays from the rest of the solar light spectrum. The exposure to radiances from these filters enabled the treatment of certain skin diseases, notably cutaneous tuberculosis.

With Light Break, Nicolai Howalt used this scientific method on the one side for his own research on photographic technology and the work on light, but also to better express his fascination for the immediate curative aspect of light. He borrowed lenses from the Medicine Museum of Copenhagen that Finsen used and combined them with contemporary filters in order to divide the sunlight his way. He then let the rays directly “work” on a photosensitive paper placed inside a camera obscura. The result is an ensemble of unique impressions of the sun. These rough prints of light, which colours covers the entire visible spectrum - from violet to the brightest reds through emerald green and electric blue – can be as soft and serene as violent and blinding. They fascinate not only because light is at the very core of photography, but because light is a fundamental of life.