Barry Roal Carlsen
If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.
I was recently invited to visit Norway. It was my first visit to the country I claim as my heritage. I have used it over my life to shape my identity. Being adopted has always left me with a lot of questions about how the self is formed. My adopted parents and family have shaped the person I have become. My personal narrative is totally created by the people I’m connected with by fortunate chance. In visiting Norway, I hoped to better understand those connections through experiencing the place where my father’s family came from, an adopted history in an adopted land.
In a broader sense, I want to convey the physical and psychological impact the landscape has in shaping people. A sense of place is powerful; it can express the feelings of belonging, separation, distance, and loss. Can the landscape be the physical embodiment of an idea or concept, a personification? I believe so.
Landscape as avatar.
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