In 2000 I was traveling along the coastline of northern Portugal. I saw a road sign – Finisterra. A mythical word. Where the land ends.
The lighthouse of Finisterra and its viewing platform were crowded with happy tourists snapping pictures, using the view as a blue-grey backdrop. It was a beautiful spring day. The view opening towards the Atlantic from this high vantage point was nothing short of majestic.
I stood there, stunned. In Finland I have been used to the horizon of the Baltic Sea being dotted with islands. Seeing this vastness blew me away. No land in sight. If I’d embark on a journey west from this point, I would eventually reach the Americas. So I lifted my Rolleiflex, made the composition by placing the horizon between the viewfinder’s fines lines, and pressed.
Over twenty years have passed since. I have shot horizons from high vantage points from Australia to Italy and Spain. Hundreds and hundreds of shots. First with my Rolleiflex, then digitally.
At first I was struck by the ocean’s vastness, and the promise of something that lies beyond the horizon. A new world maybe, a better one.
But something changed over the years. I started to feel the weight of the water, to feel the clouds touching it and the sun rising from it and setting into it. Absolutely still or fiercely agitated, never the same. Always the same. And there I was, all quiet, just taking in the fact that there is absolutely no way I could control any of it. That thought gives me an immense sense of calm and also – continuity.
All life on Earth rose from the oceans’ dark depths. The oceans were here before us, and will be here after we have gone. I find that oddly reassuring.
I have named these photographs by the name of the sea or ocean. For me the actual point where they were taken is of no importance anymore.