Swedish newspaper about Nature Diary

Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan 29 june 2019:

When I first open Mats Andersson's photo book «Nature Diary», it reminds me of Anders Petersen's trilogy «City diary» from 2012 (The Paris Photo - Aperture Photobook of the Year 2013). But where Anders Petersen subjectively dives into urban environments and human existentialism, Andersson enters the wilderness and depicts its essence with the same intensity. His images are liberatingly far from the well-prepared and seductive postcard-glossy nature stories we are accustomed to.

The spread with a bear, camouflaged behind sprawling spruce branches, lurking in the left corner of the frame, challenges traditional and easily accessible composition. My eyes run over the image surface, and suddenly the bear steps into the picture. Surprisingly - as if I were standing on the edge of the forest, surprised by my own vulnerability, as an unauthorized stranger in someone else's world.

It is clear that Andersson has the courage, a kind of rebellious attitude, to photograph in his own way, and to work way beyond accepted conventions in an often too conservative profession. Inspirational and sympathetic. When others document, Andersson conveys emotions. His photographs tell a story as much about himself as the story about life in front of his camera. It opens up for deeper dimensions and more subjective interpretations: a lone pygmy-owl in the moonlight becomes a self-portrait with a melancholic undertone of loss and sorrow.

Mats Andersson's black and white photography feels honest. Credible. Perhaps it is the multifaceted human presence that engages and speaks to us directly. 

Some insightful photographer once said:

– You should photograph animals like they were people ... because it is people who are going to look.

And so does Andersson. A photograph of a fox is not just a photograph of a fox - a species - but a portrait of that particular fox. An individual. Thus, the exact opposite of soulless image making.

While Andersson points out a contemporary  direction for nature photography, he also gives it the necessary restoration. Vital. And urgent."

 


 

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