Huldra is a female forest spirit found in Scandinavian folklore, often described as a beautiful woman seen from the front but with a hollow back. Her name derives from a root meaning “covered” or “secret”, and she is similar to the mythical mermaid luring people to madness or death, or to what is described as an altered state called "metsänpeitto" ('being covered by forest').
The myth of Huldra can also be seen as a meta myth describing the futile attempts to reach beyond, to see the invisible. The need to explain human experience through myths and fables is universal and spans through time. Forest environment has been both life-giving and threatening and a suitable canvas for peoples’ projected fears and fantasies.
The series is a work in progress, an effort to reacquaint myself with forest using associations from old stories as a gateway to something that feels both inviting and forbidding. The process involves spending time in the night forest with a flashlight, a digital projector and a camera while making the pictures during one long exposure at a time.
Part of the Huldra series was exhibited in a joint exhibition ALKU at Galleria West in Helsinki in March 2020. The Central Association of Finnish Photographic Organizations, Finnfoto gave a scholarship for the exhibition. Huldra is the third part of the Karkkila trilogy following Grandpa's Cellar and NightHouse.