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GRO JARTO

Photo: Bente Geving

Gro Jarto b. 1947 in Tønsberg, lives in Oslo.

 

"Interest is too weak a word. Passion is more correct. Drama, film, literature and theatre have been a part of my life since I first heard Peer Gynt. But movies were created with many people, I loved privacy. The silence. The roads of the movie were closed, I got a still camera in my hands. It could mirror thoughts that could not be written. Like the dream.

 

Besides, I had to live and eat and meet people and those I met were portrayed. Some of them were artists, writers, painters. There were interviews in newspapers. As the photo went digital and I could control the colours, I was invited by Tone Dietrichson to a dramatic meeting with Henrik Ibsen. His travels were followed in Norway, Italy and Germany while listening to the Radio Theatre in recording and reading all the plays. This became pictures. But also folk songs in Paris - or lectures in Norway, China or the United States about what I saw in the light or found in the dramas.

 

But if we go back even more years ago, I find those who have given me the photography. In the middle of the 70's I shared my apartment with a girlfriend; her Kåre Kivijärvi moved in. His fame voiced mythical narratives from his dark voyages on White Greenland; they explained his crisp black and white photographs. I met the Swedish photographer Ann Christine Eek at the Dramatic Institute, Stockholm just in time. She put her one Nikon F2 in front of me for free use and introduced me to the SAFTRA photo group. There was a steep learning curve to make my copies next to the students from Fotoskolan Christer Strømholm.
I interviewed both him and almost everyone in the photography community that had been created around the photo gallery in Oslo. In the absolute special class here was Tom Sandberg. He could suddenly look and say: "Now, let's make pictures!" We are lucky. Tom lifts his Leica M4 and takes pictures. I stare onto a wet brick wall without seeing anything. When he finished the copy, I got a totally new approach with the possibilities of the photograph.

 

To see is the mother to the poem.

One of the pictures in this presentation I found on the top of Norway. My young son comes along on a drive across the mountain. There is a huge skull, with dark eyebrows staring at me from the depths. I grab my Hasselblad macro 120 mm (thank goodness and thanks for medium format). My twelve year old asks me while I'm in the heather: "What have you seen, what's up, hello, mom?" But I'm in battle with the light and do not answer. Afterwards I point to the place. But. The light is gone. The shell is not. Two years later, Døden på Sognefjellet / Death on Sognefjellet is presented in the Ibsen exhibition 'A visual journey through inner landscape'. We drive again over Sognefjellet and think we must take a detour to look for the object. I drive and drive but see nothing. Then my son Øyvind shouts: "Well, there it is. Look!" What more could a photographer want?"

** Click on image to view its full size.

Stein Mehren, Poet

Kristian Kvakland, Sculptor / Artist

Tom Sandberg, Photographer

Jan Jakob Tønseth, Author / Poet and Translator

Wenche Torunn Nilsen, Journalist

Eva von Hanno as Hulda Garborg, Actress

Bente Geving, Visual Artist / Photographer

From the Ibsen exhibition 'A visual journey through inner landscape'

From the Ibsen exhibition 'A visual journey through inner landscape'

From the Ibsen exhibition 'A visual journey through inner landscape'

From the series 'Fairy tails'