Ivar Kvaal is a new talent with a photographic style that is recognisable in his editorial work as well as in his conceptual personal projects. His ability to constantly work across genres made Kvaal a natural choice for the NJP editorial board. Kvaal’s images are often lyrical and of a fictitious nature, and he shows self-assurance in his use of light and shapes, revealing beauty in the subtle details in his pictures. The editors of NJP appreciate Kvaal’s ability to work with projects over lengthy periods of time, and are interested in seeing what he will discover in connection with his project from Hessdalen Valley. He is currently working on a book commission and exhibitions, in addition to assignments for Norwegian and foreign magazines.
Excerpt from the project description:
“Hessdalen Valley had already started to lose its life force, that is, its people, when the first lights began to illuminate the valley. In a climate which, historically and traditionally speaking, was not very open with a view to interpersonal relationships, and at a time when the cold war still enveloped Scandinavia in a framework of uncertainty and unwarranted secrecy, it took a long time before anyone dared to talk about what they saw. Not even neighbours were aware that they were witnessing the same thing, evening after evening, in a valley that was losing its population at an ever faster rate. In December 1981, there was no longer any point in solitary speculation. The lights in Hessdalen Valley had shone strongly enough to attract attention from sources other than the villagers alone. With the arrival of the press, the otherwise rarely visited valley embarked on a whole new chapter in the history of the village. From being a village that did not have much out of the ordinary to offer – a church, a community centre, a general store – Hessdalen Valley became a gathering place and point of reference for a wide variety of people whose only commonality was that they were searching for something they had not identified.”