Botanica: Sensual self-portraits by Maren Klemp soaked in milk and decorated with flowers
Describing her style as "honest, dreamy and feminine, with a hint of mystery", Oslo-based visual artist Maren Klemp creates dramatic work that tells stories and evokes emotion. Her latest series, Botanica, conveys the sensuality and femininity of flowers.
The collection of self-portraits is shrowded in soft focus with the addition of milk and carefully placed floral arrangements to give the images a symbolic feel. "I haven't been comfortable sharing pictures of myself online for years," she tells Creative Boom, "but by soaking the images in milk and adding flowers, the work instantly transformed into something completely different. It brings a sense of sensuality and beauty, and it made me confident enough to share the work."
"Humans have always been naturally drawn to flowers because of their smell and beauty," Maren continues. "I wanted to explore how flowers can transform and lift our moods. Different flowers tell different stories, and that's the reason flowers have been used as symbolism in the art for centuries."
An award-winning fine art photographer based in Oslo, Norway, Maren studied Fine Art Photography and Visual Communication under professor Robert Meyer at Robert Meyer Kunsthogskole. During her studies, she developed a highly distinctive style, which can be described as dark, narrative and evocative. Maren works with both colour and black and white photography and is known for her dreamlike photographs, with a hint of mystery.
Botanica follows other works such as Hidden Light in 2021 where Maren played with infrared, landscape and portraiture to transform an "otherwise boring and uninspiring place into a beautiful, mysterious and ethereal sphere," as she puts it. "The first time I saw an infrared photograph, it blew my mind. It felt like I was given access to a secret and mysterious world. Infrared cameras capture light that the human eye can't detect, and gives us the opportunity to explore a hidden world where everything looks different."
In another series, titled Between Intervals, Maren takes a plunge into the darker sides of the human mind, creating works that represent her own experiences of mental illness. "I only photographed myself and my children for this series in order to make the work as honest as possible," she explains.
"The pictures tell about those who are gripped by darkness, isolation and sadness, and about relationships with close family. They tell about the lack of belonging, to live in a separate world that few or no others can enter or understand. It's about the fog that comes creeping, which overpowers and paralyzes, the invisible disease."
To discover more of Maren Klemp's artistic practice, visit www.marenklempart.com.