At the beach consists of photographs from everyday life at the coast today, taken in three Finnmark municipalities. The thirty stories reflect life in three fjords in close contact with coastal-Sami, Kven and Norwegian cultures. Leif Gabrielsen’s photos are fervent, sincere, rich and captivating.
This exhibition marks a new chapter in Gabrielsen’s photographic depictions of Finnmark’s coastal cultures, stories in pictures of people and landscapesin Scandinavia’s northern most fjords, with a characteristic mixture of coastal-Sami, Kven and Norwegian elements.
The landscape, cultures and people in the north have been Gabrielsen’s main subjects since the 1960s. In 2012 SDG exhibited hisSmåsei og klestørkwith photos taken between the 1960s and 1980s in west Finnmark, plus a few new photos from 2011. Now SDG presentsthirty new colour photos by Gabrielsen, taken in Tana, Lebesby and Porsanger between 2012 and 2014.
At the beach portrays a rich, lively and confident meeting with people and landscapes, a meeting conveyed in Gabrielsen’s low-key, richand honest, but never idyllic, photos. Gabrielsen’s photos follow his subjects closely, in daily life and at parties, at work and at home. He leads with a steady hand and has an eye for generations and seasons, meeting people in trivialand important occasions, in these villages that interest him with their cultural diversity. Landscape itself is, of course, a central feature in Gabrielsen’s photosof Finnmark.
Leif Gabrielsen is an experienced photographer who is able to conveycomplex stories in simple photos. This project is a classic subjective documentary, in which Gabrielsen is a virtuoso with his ability to respect his subject, giving the story priority and providing air and space for his subject. The thirty illuminated photos in At the beach are pregnant and expressive, without being rhetorical, with scenarios from Sápmiand Finnmark.
Leif Gabrielsen was born in 1942 and grew up in Troms and Finnmark. He now lives in Oslo. He has experience from Fotoskolan i Stockholm and has worked as a photographer for NRK and Klassekampen. From 1985 he has been a freelancer and has been engaged as a theatre photographer at Nationalteatret, Det norske teatret, Oslo Nye Teater and Den Nationale Scene. He has undertaken many photo projects and has had several exhibitions. Gabrielsen’s photos have beenbought by the Arts Council Norway and Nationalmuseet.
The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council Norway, the Norwegian Photographic Fund and the Relief Fund for Visual Artists.