Not there
Images by Alba Giertz

When we initially asked Alba Giertz what inspires her she said “Generally I don’t have any inspiration. I work to be inspired.” Alba was drawn to photography from an early age, started taking photos at 9 and had her first exhibition at 14. She went on to study photography at Kulturama in Stockholm, and has worked in both Paris and Cannes. However, as a teen and young adult her life was contained by addiction. During her first sober years she began suffering from unsettling delusions, and had to pause from her photographic practice between 2011-2015.

Now facing sobriety, she’s been forced to handle emotions in new, contemporary ways. “A few sober situations can put me in a trance, one of them is shooting. I lose track of time and all I see is what I do, right then and there. The process of creating and the focus that occasionally follows, can become an escape, bringing stillness to a normally shattered mind.”

Since the summer of 2015 Alba has found her way back, this time choosing to take a narrower focus in the sub fine art scene, where she unapologetically is free to express a more shadowy view. Her artistic style, often described as dreamy and dark, is showcased here in her project Not here, shot mainly in Dalarna, Sweden.

Creating a series like Not here will often bring a mix of battling emotions to Alba who admits that she has a complex relationship with beauty. “Whenever I see something beautiful, I get a compulsive need to seize it. If I decide to not capture it or if I’m without my camera, I get low about the loss of the visual and can’t enjoy what’s in front of me. If I do shoot it, I can’t fully appreciate it as I’m focusing on all of the parallel things that need attention in order to make a visual of it. In a way I’m cursed – my work robs me of every beautiful scene I’m exposed to in life.” Alba strives to make art that is an antidote to digitalization and modern surroundings. “Present day, we live a physically still life but are overloaded with hectic impressions and situations. As we can’t naturally react to stress in the modern society due to social conformity, the external world both generates and suppresses an internal con ict of emotions. Capturing the stillness nature provides – in contrast to human creations – is an attempt to remind us of the fundamental needs that we have lost.”

During the past year Alba has been printed in PAPER (magazine), Noice and WiredUK among countless others platforms and magazines.

This feature was first published in Issue One of SATORI. To explore issue one further click here.

Created by Duncan Woods & Seb Camilleri