Matthew Hamon

Location: Montana
Nationality: U.S.A.
Biography: Matthew Hamon is a freelance portrait photographer who lives in rural Montana. His photography exists conceptually and aesthetically in the spaces between photojournalism and staged editorial imagery. Matthew hails from a small, remote town in... read on
Public Story
Credits: matthew hamon
Date of Work: 11/01/18 - Ongoing
Updated: 04/01/19
Location: Iceland
Archived as:  ,

Sofdu unga ástin mín
Sofðu unga ástin mín
Úti regnið grætur
Mamma geymir gullin þín
Gamla leggi og völuskrín
Við skulum ekki vaka um dimmar nætur

Það er margt sem myrkrið veit
Minn er hugur þungur
Oft ég svarta sandinn leit
Svíða grænan engireit
Í jöklinum hljóða dauðadjúpar sprungur

Sofðu lengi, sofðu rótt
Seint mun best að vakna
Mæðan kenna mun þér fljótt
Meðan hallar degi skjótt
Að mennirnir elska, missa, gráta og sakna

Sleep, my young love
Outside the rain is weeping
Mummy is watching over your treasure
an old bone and a round case
We shouldn't stay awake through dim nights

There is much that darkness knows
My mind is heavy
Often I saw black sand
Burning the green meadow
Glacier cracks rumbling deep as death

Sleep for a long time, sleep quietly
It is best to wake up late
Sorrow will teach you soon
While the day is quickly decaying
That men love, lose, cry and mourn

-from a traditional Icelandic lullaby

These images were made while traveling in Iceland during the winter of 2018. I didn't shoot with the intent of faithfully representing a specific reality. I set out to dismiss the almost unavoidable cliché’s of beauty that pervade every direction in the Icelandic landscape, while acknowledging that in my vision the eclipse of romanticism via works by painters such as Albert Bierstadt and Casper David Friedrich hasn’t diminished its strength. However, I believe beauty is a legitimate aesthetic device that can be employed to create moods or suspended sensations. As a serial medium, photography invites one to order and sequence a narrative arc. Figures appear sparingly and at diminished scale to invite, even if fleeting, the identification of a protagonist. Photographs are simultaneously ambiguous and specific, ultimately becoming a kind of canvas for the subconscious, where things play out that are connected to the viewer’s search for a narrative.

Ratljóst is a uniquely Icelandic word that loosely translates, "only enough light to find one's way.

By Matthew Hamon —

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