Jorma Puranen works conceptually. The raw material used for his artistic photographs is, on the one hand, a Nordic landscape and references its relationship to the human. And on the other hand, Puranen deals with photographic archival material which he then develops even further by creating counter-designs, new combinations and narratives.
The work seen in the »shadows, reflections and all that sort of thing« series display a set of photographs taken of centuries-old paintings. Puranen, however, alienates them with blinding light reflection that bounces off the surface of the paintings. Thus, the pictorial elements of the original paintings are placed in the background, behind the glow and radiance. Behind this glare, the figures lead their own life as a still and inaccessible one. The flash of light condenses the surface relief and the structure of the oil paintings, as it plays with the materiality of the textured foreground. What is most surprising about Puranen's work is that these deep layers result in an intermediate space that seems to measure the temporary conditions of time, by turning a painting into a photographic image. In this third dimension, the reflections of light are formed into stage-like curtain, and behind in Puranen's shadows is where the historical paintings are celebrated: „My emphasis, however, is not placed on the relation of the original and copy, a ‘rhetoric of substitution', but drawing attention to the photographic process itself, complexity of gaze, to convey arresting sense of presence, to evoke an exalted attention“.
In the series »Icy Prospects«, Puranen increases the sensory experience of the Arctic ice landscapes by freezing the view of nature in time. A wooden board that is painted black and given a layer of high-gloss acrylic lacquer, acts as mirror in which the landscapes are depicted. The coarse brushstrokes correspond to the materiality of the wood, while through the varnish the mirror images distort themselves. Puranen uses an extended exposure time while he is photographing; he then decides upon the painterly style to be used. The added effects either work to toughen the impression of the landscape or abstract the colours and forms within the image. The denseness of the Nordic nature therefore becomes a projection for the surface of the transcendental art and turns Puranen’s work into fictional photographs.