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SYNTHETIC SCENIC BEAUTY                  -Tina Cavén-      5.9.2011

I look over the perfect mirrored reflection of cliffs over the calm surface of the
water. The view is fascinating, beautiful and in some odd manner unnatural. Symmetry
does not seem to be a part of nature, yet the first expression that comes to mind
while viewing this scene is “Oh how beautiful!”

Kristian Kaarna utilises double paired mirror reflections in his scenery and sky portraits.
These high quality photographs function well on their own, but pairing them enables
to focus on new broader shapes that the pairs form. The pictures involve depth,
allowing them to be viewed as abstract compositions despite the realistic themes of
the photos. They are fascinating, peculiar sceneries, simultaneously natural and
synthetic, and most of all unbelievably beautiful.

What is beauty and furthermore what is scenic beauty? It is often said that beauty
is experienced subjectively and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However,
there also exist generally perceived and widely recognized ideas of beauty.
Classical beauty is thought of as something that is symmetrical that can be
mathematically verified, an applicable law that can be applied anywhere, such as the
golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence. These norms of beauty are emulated by
nature as well as by man in his artistic activity.

Nature, however, is no more beautiful than it is intentional, it merely exists.
Existing is its purpose and objective. People are not solely passive viewers when
admiring nature, but can also actively create beauty and mathematical symmetry by
forming new compositions.

Nature is not aware of all the meanings and interpretations it beholds to people.
Sceneries often enable people to reflect their emotions and thoughts, in addition to
the possibility of experiencing beauty. The associations awoken by symmetric
scenic pictures can be interpreted similarly as the Rorschach inkblots; the pictures
themselves are neutral, but allow differing and evolving interpretations.

The artist Kristian Kaarna  has stated that scenic photographing has made him a constant
observer of the sky and sceneries. The sky and skyline offer an evolving range of
colours, shapes and lights that give the viewer and the photographer an endless
amount of abstract themes. In Kaarna’s photography it is not a question of
capturing specific geographic locations or times of day, but rather about using
colours and shapes to create new themes. In his photographs Kristian Kaarna focuses on what
people instinctively lay their eye on when admiring sceneries. However, he does this
by combining in his compositions around one hundred photographs taken from the same

The techniques used by Kristian Kaarna offer an unusual photographical surface where all
elements are equally accurate, especially when printed in larger images. One’s eye
does not focus on one specific detail in the picture, but can take in the whole
entity just like when looking at live scenery. On one hand, Kaarna’s art is about
large abstract shapes and on the other hand about discovering new fascinating
details. Kristian Kaarna’s photos are easily approachable, however, they restrain from
being simple and light. On the contrary, his photos are technically unique,
endlessly transformable, therefore allowing the viewer to depict new aspects each

 -Tina Cavén-
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