In this photographic series the Finnish artist Riitta Ikonen and Norwegian photographer Karoline Hjorth decided to explore what happens when fairy tales end happily ever after, revisiting their favourite mythical characters post-retirement.
The result, the intriguing series "Eyes As Big As Plates," features elderly subjects enveloped in natural, scavenged material, both connecting the human subjects back to the Earth and creating a universal setting for the elegant images.
The first part of the series was produced in collaboration with local senior heroes, sailors, retired agronomies and 90-year old parachuters. Part two of Eyes as Big as Plates presents Pohjois-Karjala seniors through references of familiar characters and protagonists of Finnish folklore, infused with the participating local seniors’ own stories and personal relationship to folklore, myths and imagination.
Swallowed by their natural surroundings, the models turn into mythical creatures, connecting to the folklore of their homelands no matter how physically distant they may be.
The artists explain in a statement:
"This blending of figure and ground recalls the way in which folk narratives animate the natural world through a personification of nature. The slippage of elderly figures into the landscapes suggests a return to the earth, a celebration of lives lived, reinforcing the link between humanity and the natural world."