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Concept, photography and text:
Rob van Hoesel
Sebastiaan Hanekroot (Colour&Books)
Jos Morree (Fine Books)
Wilco Art Books (NL)
What if a transcendental experience changes your life forever?
Transcendent Country of the Mind explores encounters with alternative dimensions of reality and perceptions of otherworldly signs around us. It tells a story of the subconsciousness, about the world that resides in the back of our minds.
In her early twenties, Sari Soininen (FI) regularly and excessively experimented with LSD, which eventually resulted in an extended psychotic episode that impacted her life profoundly. Fundamentally, this experience changed the way she perceives her surroundings and reality itself: she let go of all her worldly possessions, saw Heaven and Hell and was confronted with a different perception of time and space.
Revisiting this traumatic yet eye-opening experience was a way for Soininen to let go of it. Transcendent Country of the Mind is a representation of this event and offers other similar glimpses of what she discovered behind the curtain of reality. This colourful body of work is a kaleidoscope of mesmerising landscapes, unfamiliar portraits and more. It shows the vivid world around us in all its beauty and darkness. What lies beneath and sparkles above? A journey towards the undiscovered.
Sari Soininen is a photographer based in Helsinki. Her colourful and otherworldly photography draws from philosophical thoughts and mystical experiences, providing the viewer with alternative ways of perceiving reality. She holds an MA from UWE Bristol, BA from Lahti Institute of Design and carried out exchange studies at Edinburgh College of Art. Her latest work is published in FT Weekend Magazine, Fisheye Magazine, British Journal of Photography, and Liberation Magazine, and has been featured in various exhibitions and festivals throughout Europe.
“In Soininen’s photographs, the world is rendered otherwordly and everyday reality seems heightened and elementally mysterious. The branches of spreading trees seem electrically charged with light; a flock of pigeons hover in the air as if suspended; hedgerow flowers glow with an infra-red intensity. Soininen eschews post-production trickery, instead using colour gels when shooting. Blessedly she does not attempt to describe the psychedelic experience in all its sensory overload. Instead, her images are freighted with subtle clues that suggest the ways in which the drug can alter people’s perceptions as well as erode their logic and rationality.” (Sean O'Hagan)