"Interior Landscape started when I realised that my archive of negatives from the last three years focused almost exclusively on landscapes."
Unseen Platform: Could you tell us about your project Interior Landscape?
Sara Skogen Tiegen: As I see it we live in two worlds – an external one we can see, and an invisible internal world where we react to external experiences. These two realities don’t always correspond, and this friction interests me. Interior Landscape follows on from my published sketchbook, Fractal State of Being. It represents the meeting point between my observations of these two worlds. By mixing and using different mediums I look for connections between how the physical world looks and how the inner world feels.
Interior Landscape started when I realised that my archive of negatives from the last three years focused almost exclusively on landscapes. When viewing these images, I didn’t feel at all like I felt when I was there. I needed a way to convey my inner experience of the place and why I choose to photograph it, so I drew directly onto the negative to complete the image as I remembered it. In the first book, I looked at what emotions look like, whilst this one explores how our mental functions work.
How does a multimedia approach inform your work?
Photography – including photograms and Polaroids – as well as detailed drawing, collage, performance and text all play a role in my practice. Every medium carries its own possibilities to approach my subject matter in new ways. Studying “the invisible” has always been a focal point for me – be it microorganisms, rocks, minerals or emotions. The sketchbook pages allow me to build an analogy, mapping out different territories. In this way, the tempo of the camera suits me very well. I love its instantaneous ability to document, though the physical print is also central to my work. I am driven by learning, and I try to maintain a childlike open-mindedness. Exploring new media keeps me humble and curious, which is both an important goal for life in general and a necessity for this kind of work.
You have said that you see your work as an “unfinished process”. What exactly do you mean?
I use photography to stage ideas that represent experiences and truths I’ve come to in life. As our lives change, we connect our old experiences with the new. I do this physically by reusing my photographs, editing them in my sketchbook or in new wall installations. In this way, my photographs become both archive and palette. Consequently, and like life itself, I never see my work as finished but as a process.