Nordic Mystique: A Photography Exhibit at Ona in Tarrytown
by Linda Viertel –
Ona, Tarrytown’s unique fair-trade, craft-based and artisanal gift shop has just expanded to include art exhibitions. Enhancing the already abundant offerings at Ona Cohn’s engaging store is the work of Norwegian photographer, Morten Golimo, who creates large format digitally adjusted photos of the natural world in all its glory. The art exhibit, entitled “Nordic Mystique,” is between a showing at New York’s Norwegian Seaman’s Church and a display at the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association.
Well-known in Norway, Golimo happened to be on a barge photographing both the old Tappan Zee and new Mario Cuomo Bridges from underneath their spans. He captured a spectacular image that Peter Fiore, a fellow member of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) who happened to be on the boat, thought should be displayed at his friend Ona’s store. Why not in Tarrytown, the site of these two iconic bridges? Thus, Golimo became the first artist to exhibit at Ona.
Atmospheric vistas are Golimo’s specialty, and his love of Norway’s dramatic scenery is palpable. The material world: rocks, water, trees, haze, the sun all come to life in dazzlingly beautiful images. Even his photograph titles give a hint of the emotion behind his works: “Open Sky,” “Comforting Sea,” “Silent Maple,” “Blue Yearning,” “Warming Comfort,” and “Burning Horizon.” It often takes him hours at a site just to capture the right moment, and he returns the next day if he doesn’t experience it satisfactorily the first time.
Golimo’s works provide a sense of wonderment, a connection to Nordic mythology, a world wherein trolls, elves and all the other good and evil underground beings inhabit the earth. His photos are deeply evocative: the viewer can feel the mist or a spray of water, hear the wind, and smell the deep pine forests. But, the artist says it best:
“A photograph is a sweet, liberating ‘lie’ that takes us away from reality into a timeless room where truth is absent, where time ceases to exist and we’re allowed to see things that the eye cannot capture. Many of my pictures are long-exposure photographs. Everything looks different when it is taken with 30 seconds’ exposure time compared to one-hundredth of a second. Waves in a storm blur out and convert to a soft duvet over the shoreline. In photography, time can tame the storm.
So my images aim to tell stories about Time. About Time that dwells in the moment. Time that dampens the roaring waterfall. Time that reveals the magic in the ordinary. But also about Time that never returns, never to be recaptured, and Time we wish would never pass.”