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Gunilla Oberg

In 2006, I moved from Sweden to what is now called Vancouver, Canada, with its familiar yet so different nature. Even the crows look and sound different here. I have a background in soil science, photographing throughout, albeit with no formal photography training. A few years ago, I started exploring macro-photography and in the spring of 2024, I was awarded 1st prize by Sage Magazine, Yale School of Environment. My images probe and celebrate decomposition, as there would be no life without it. I am particularly fascinated by worm tea: the dark, close-to-black liquid draining from worm composts, packed with nutrients and beautifully reflecting light. These images are close-ups of decomposing plant material floating in worm tea. The photographs reflect distorted mirror images of the surroundings and imaginations. Connecting the material with the immaterial, life and death, air and soil. The series is, in a way, a homage to my mother, who often would call my attention to the beauty of small things. We could be sitting in her living room or on her balcony, and she would point to something and say: “Gunilla, do you see the light playing on that? Isn’t it beautiful!!” I would look to see what she saw, and for a while, life was timeless.

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