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Photo: Knut Koivisto

Einar Sira (1960), lives and works in Sandnes, Norway. Autodidact. Have attended various workshops in Norway and abroad, including Roger Ballen and Morten Krogvold. All the photos are photographed in a small pond in his garden. Sira exhibits his works in Norway and abroad and is represented by Laura A. Noble Gallery in London.

Einar Sira (1960), bor og arbeider i Sandnes, Norge. Autodidakt. Har deltatt på flere workshops i Norge og utlandet, blant annet med Roger Ballen og Morten Krogvold. Alle fotografiene er fotografert i en liten dam som ligger i hans hage. Sira presenterer sine arbeider i Norge og utlandet og er representert av Laura A. Noble Gallery i London.



Post Vitam


Death is powerful. Sometimes feared, sometimes wished for and often profound. In a modern world different cultures react to death in different ways, some hide it from view and others celebrate it. Einar Sira explores death with the meticulous fascination of a child and the knowledge of a father reflecting upon mortality through his chosen language, photography. 


Sira’s dark water therapy can be traced back to the words spoken by his mother after being informed that her brother had passed away, “I already knew he was dead because there was a dead bird on the front porch this morning.” This exorcism of grief and depression is played out before a lens as exquisite animal and botanical cadaver compositions. Articulating this sense of sorrow amidst the beauty of his subjects Sira’s still lives are resurrected before his lens. The site of his work lies close to home, in a pond in his garden in Norway. 


However, finding a dead house sparrow in his garden one Sunday morning is where the project really materialised into the Post Vitam series – one which Sira feels he will continually work on throughout his life. Taking a picture or two each day he photographed the bird as it decayed over 18 months. This obsessive recording both focused Sira on every detail as well as providing a quiet form of subconscious healing for himself. 


His methods can be easily dissected, as his process although exquisitely rendered is relatively simple, using natural light and a silver reflector with his Hasselblad H5D with minimal adjustments made after processing. As a result of this, his imagery is both intense and wistful, layering his subject matter physically in situ through the use of glass plates that fit over the pond, movement and stillness can be combined with little interference. Waiting for the correct light is the most time consuming component. This can make or break the magic and majesty of the image. They have a luxurious appearance, akin to Dutch still life painting, conveying an opulence despite their macabre reality. 

Although birds play the largest part in his visual narrations, plants and other animals also take centre stage. The segmentation of layers does not stop at the depth of each image however, more recently Sira has taken to dividing the creatures themselves. Deer engage in a kiss, organs are exposed and skeletons are stripped bare by the elements, all revealing their own truths. Steeped in Nordic mythology the metaphor of water is essential to represent the passing of time which runs through the underworld as well as the finality of life, beauty and truth. His alluring meditations upon life and death uncover an innate humanity and vulnerability through the depths of his vision, whilst harnessing the powerful aesthetic that lies within nature from cradle to grave. 


Laura Noble

«Jeg viste allerede at han var reist - det lå en død fugl på trappen i morges», dette var ordene til min mor da hun fikk dødsbudskapet til sin bror.


Post vitam utforsker forfall og den brutale skjønnheten i liv og død representert ved døde planter, fugler og dyr. Mine bilder minner oss på at vi, som alt annet visner/falmer bort og igjen blir ett med jorden.

** Click on image to view its full size.

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