Sofdu unga ástin mín Sofðu unga ástin mín Úti regnið grætur Mamma geymir gullin þín Gamla leggi og völuskrín Við skulum ekki vaka um dimmar nætur
Það er margt sem myrkrið veit Minn er hugur þungur Oft ég svarta sandinn leit Svíða grænan engireit Í jöklinum hljóða dauðadjúpar sprungur
Sofðu lengi, sofðu rótt Seint mun best að vakna Mæðan kenna mun þér fljótt Meðan hallar degi skjótt Að mennirnir elska, missa, gráta og sakna Sleep, my young love Outside the rain is weeping Mummy is watching over your treasure an old bone and a round case We shouldn't stay awake through dim nights
There is much that darkness knows My mind is heavy Often I saw black sand Burning the green meadow Glacier cracks rumbling deep as death
Sleep for a long time, sleep quietly It is best to wake up late Sorrow will teach you soon While the day is quickly decaying That men love, lose, cry and mourn
-from a traditional Icelandic lullaby
These images were made while traveling in Iceland during the winter of 2018. I didn't shoot with the intent of faithfully representing a specific reality. I set out to dismiss the almost unavoidable cliché’s of beauty that pervade every direction in the Icelandic landscape, while acknowledging that in my vision the eclipse of romanticism via works by painters such as Albert Bierstadt and Casper David Friedrich hasn’t diminished its strength. However, I believe beauty is a legitimate aesthetic device that can be employed to create moods or suspended sensations. As a serial medium, photography invites one to order and sequence a narrative arc. Figures appear sparingly and at diminished scale to invite, even if fleeting, the identification of a protagonist. Photographs are simultaneously ambiguous and specific, ultimately becoming a kind of canvas for the subconscious, where things play out that are connected to the viewer’s search for a narrative.
Ratljóst is a uniquely Icelandic word that loosely translates, "only enough light to find one's way.