First I made the image Serenade for solitude in 2015. Since then I have been thinking about this concept over and over.
I´ve started to look through my archive (which is huuuuge) and I´m coming back to images I shot for The Sleep Project (Hypnagogia). I´m a bit confused though, do these images belong with The Room (a new series) or with Hypnagogia? I don´t know.
Right now I´m working on two series: Chasing a mirage and The Room. Chasing a mirage is a Hypnagogia spin-off (great word right!) and The Room is a continuation on Serenade for solitude. Maybe they will all be the same series one day?
Some images I´ve done recently:
I don´t know what it is, but ever since I started turning my images black by changing the background, I cant´t stop doing it. I tried with my new series Chasing a mirage, and I really like the result of this image. It´s much more mysterious and other-worthly than the non-black image.
I´m experimenting in a new way with old images that I shot on Iceland in 2014. To me, the sparse landscape of Iceland is the perfect metafor for our inner landscapes.
I want to visualise our constant longing for something else, something that seem so much better, something over there. If we just walk a little bit more, run a bit faster, we will get there.
By mirroring images of landscape and human, I want to investigate what we see and how we see it. What if everything is just a reflection of our inner minds, our fears and beliefs. What is real? What image of ourselves is real?
I shot these two images by the beach in Alicante in 2017. Me and my mother took a sheet (borrowed it from the hostel… lucky there was a washing machine in the room!) and tried different poses and angles with the sheet. I think I like the first one most, because of the colors and composition. But maybe I´m a little bit more fond of the sheet covering the whole body in image number two.
To me, these images are about life and death. I think the white sheet is quite a strong symbol. Longing to rest, coming home, seeking shelter. Covering the sheet with sand, becoming one with the ground. The giant ocean. The water we all come from.
New picture. ”Birch” 2018.
Yesterday I was really inspired to shoot. But I didn´t know what to shoot. I knew I wanted to do something related to easter. I was lucky enough to have fresh flowers at home (from a friend that had just stayed the night at my place.) I decided to shoot the flowers with window light and I put them in the window right in front of the window glass. I put a diffuser (you could use a transparent white sheet instead) in front of the window, so the flowers would have the diffuser as backdrop. Then I shot at aperture 1.4 and shutter speed 1/60. The whiteness was overexposed but the flowers were perfect. Then I did what I love the most: played around in Photoshop! I actually didn´t think I was going to do anything special with this image, other than give it some small adjustments with exposure, contrast and color. But I was wrong haha.
I copied the flowers into several layers and put them in different places in a square frame. I felt my heart beat faster as I continued to blend the flowers and composite the image as I liked. When I was happy with the composition I painted both green and yellow in the picture and put these layers on blending mode color burn. I also adjusted the colors and worked with vibrance/saturation. In the end I liked this image a lot more that I thought I would. It has a painterly feel to it that I absolutely love.
This is the original image, that I like really much as it is. But with me, I´m never happy if I don´t twist reality a bit 😉
This Tuesday I had the honour to hold a lecture in Skellefteå (a town in northern Sweden where they still have lots of snow!). My friend and colleague Victoria Söderström lives and works in Skellefteå and has been a part of the photo club of Skellefteå. They reached out to ask if we were interested in holding an inspirational lecture. Of course we were! So I travelled north and Victoria made the bed for me in the guest room in her beautiful house.
In Gothenburg, the snow has melted (almost) and flowers are starting to burst. We have spring in the air. But in Skellefteå, the snow was high as one metre and lay thick everywhere. As soon as I got off the plane I saw the wintery landscape with bright snow amongst the trees. I was very excited! I looked for reindeers from the car window but I didn´t have any luck haha. Last time me and Victoria was in Skellefteå together, we saw some reindeers on our way to Glommersträsk where we held a workshop.
Monday we sat down at a cosy café to prepare our lecture. I had green tea and Victoria had coffee. We already had a presentation ready from last time we held a lecture, but we wanted to do some adjustments and also have time to refresh our memories (who says what, who begins to talk). But we also had a lot to talk about, since it was a long time we saw each other. That´s why we love to work together- beacause we can hang out while we´re doing what we love. Best combination!
The next day we were ready to hold our lecture, and we snapped this picture before going off to the museum. I was actually very nervous, but it disappeared when we got to the museum and met all the nice people. People are always so nice when we hold lectures! It´s like a big happy gang of people getting together and I just feel like a part of it all. I always feel like I could stay forever and just continue to teach! I just love to talk about my creative process and show people how me and Victoria works with photography. I don´t really know what it is, but I don´t think I like anything else as much! I should really try to do it more often.
Victoria took this photo of me in front of the audience right before we started. We had a great technician who helped us so we got microphones with good sound and a beautiful light. Also, the image was perfect. Sometimes when you come to other places to show pictures, it just looks nuts and you have to spend so much time adjusting the image and no one really knows how to do it. But this was perfect from the beginning, and the sound worked without a problem! Such a wonderful feeling when everything just flows! (Except when Victoria had to change microphone in the middle haha!)
Below you see some slides from our power point presentation. All of these images are created by Victoria.
I love this skiss by Victoria, next to the finished photo. Quite a difference, don´t you think?
When I got home I was so full of inspiration, and I´m so happy that me and Victoria has started to plan our next project together!
I took a new self portrait to update my website with. Instead of being out in nature or in front of a clean wall I decided to take the photo in front of my image ”Void” that is hanging in a black frame in my home. It feels so good to have a portrait where my art is integrated. Hope you like it!
The two pieces are Hypnagogia and Serenade for solitude.
Hypnagogia was made for my project The Sleep Project, in which I explore the surreal state between being awake and falling asleep. Rebecca Malherbe wrote some beautiful words about this picture in this blog post:
The dreamlike state that Rydén seeks to portray is strongly felt in this image. There is a definitive sense of disrupting reality. As the viewer, I feel taken away by the icy blue yet pulled back in by the human figure. Rydén has captured what seems to be an image out of a dream. The darkness that nearly engulfs the image reminds one of sleepy half closed eyes, drifting off or slowly waking up. She leaves the viewer to decide which one it is.
Serenade for solitude deals with the complex topic of setting healthy personal boundaries versus falling into destructive isolation.
Last year, in the fall of 2016, the same images were exhibited at the Affordable Art Fair Stockholm, and I had the honor to be there!
The exhibition is open 11-14 of May 2017.
I made a behind the scenes video for my self portait ”Imagine a bird”.
This is the final image.
I also used some yarn, but as you can see in the movie I decided to make the image without it.
First test shoot!