Elin Hoyland :The Brothers

The Brothers
Photographs by Elin Høyland
April 9, 2013-June 2, 2013
Opening reception April 11, 2013
Amy Arbus Talk April 12, 2013
Members talk with Stephan Sagmiller 6:15 PM April 11, 2013

The Brothers.Photo: Elin H¿yland

Elin Hoyland

The Brothers.Photo: Elin H¿yland

Elin Hoyland

The Brothers.Photo: Elin H¿yland thumbnail
The Brothers.Photo: Elin H¿yland thumbnail

When Norwegian photographer Elin Hoyland heard about two reclusive, elderly brothers living together in rural Norway she knew she wanted to collaborate with them on a project about their lives.

A series of her photographs, The Brothers, is featured in the Atelier Gallery at the Griffin Museum April 9 through June 2. An opening reception is April 11, 7-8:30 p.m.

Harald, then 75, and Mathias Ramen, 80, had always shared a house on the small farm where they were born. Neither married.

In addition to running their own farm, they had worked as loggers and carpenters on other local farms.

Harald spent one night in a hotel in Lillehammer, which he called the worst night of his life. Mathias tried working in Oslo for two months, but didn’t like it.

The brothers’ days on the farm provided a predictable and comforting routine. They cut, carried, and burned wood to heat their house. They fed wild birds in some 20 birdhouses. They listened to the radio and read the newspaper.

Harald died from as asthma attack while shoveling snow in frigid temperatures. Mathias continued to live in the house until moving to a home for the elderly.

Hoyland then went back and photographed the empty house. Mathias died in 2007.

"The brothers’ way of life has now almost entirely disappeared in modern Norway," she says.

A book of Hoyland’s work, The Brothers, was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in the United Kingdom.

Hoyland has freelanced as a photographer for several major newspapers and her work has been exhibited in the UK, Scandinavia, France, and China.

A gallery talk for museum members by Stephan Sagmiller – whose exhibit The Clouds: Experiments in Perception is featured in the Griffin Gallery – is at 6:15 p.m. April 11, prior to the opening reception for all exhibits.

A book The Brothers by Elin Hoyland, published by www.dewilewispublishing.com with an essay by Gerry Badger will be distributed to each attendee to the exhibition reception courtesy of Statoil.