Finland, summer residency 2013. Rovaniemi (Lapland), Helsinki, Växär island (Baltic Sea)

I am always most interested in the undercurrents of a place. In Finland I encountered subtle contrasts of dream and reality, past and present, modern and rustic, warm and cold, and above all shadow and light. The nonstop midsummer light has a primal effect on both the psyche and physiology, and has a dizzying vitality and presence of its own. Yet the light seems to never fully banish the blue palette of the Great North. The pervasive blue is like the menacing Groke in Tove Jansson's lyrical children's tales, a symbol of the knowledge that winter's cold and darkness always loom and will soon return.