Merethe Wessel-Berg is a Norwegian photographer based in Oslo, Norway (b. 1973, Aurskog, Norway).
Her specialities are Fine Art Photography, Street Photography and Personal Narratives, expressed in black and white.
Henri Matisse: "I've been forty years discovering that the queen of all colours is black".
Curiosity is her main tool in photography and in life.
She would like her photographs to be like questions. Like scenes from a movie. The immediate, the unguarded moments. She says: "I follow my intuition when shooting, trusting it will lead me to the pictures that move me, the small stories or moments that mean something to me. The emotional aspect and content is my focus. My photographing is not so much about thinking, more about something not yet put in words or planned - the fractions, what passes by, what is not permanent.
I hope that the pictures have enough openness to give space for the viewer's associations, too - no matter if they are similar to mine, or completely different", she says.
Merethe wants to explore the nuances, what she didn´t already know, what takes her by surprise, rather than the main events or clear, closed stories. "I am amazed by the fact that a picture can turn what was almost invisible or lost into something important - by separating it and keeping it. What was hidden in the shadows, what was almost invisible or gone, what was present just before, after or in between, can become the diamond. I like looking at the world through the filter of black and white when I photograph - it's still the same, yet so different - a different aspect".
She is fascinated by the beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete – the perfectness of what’s imperfect.
About the passion for urban photography:
"I spent my childhood and youth on the Norwegian countryside, and I was always fascinated by the unpredictable soul of the city. Surprises, possibilities, questions. Scenes that take place on the corners of the streets, inside the apartments and in the cafes, in cars and in the underground. Architecture, stories, people, lives. To me, wandering in the streets, allowing the scenes to surprise me, is like opening a box full of endless treasures. They just never end. The unexpected reality is more interesting than I could ever stage. I am interested in different aspects of identity, and this might influence my way of looking at the city and the people in it - and it might influence my pictures, too. The boundaries and the lack of boundaries between people. The individuals and the crowds - being an individual in the crowd, and being part of the crowd as an individual. But still, the shooting process is not a rational one, it's intuitive".
"The technical choices should of course support and work with the rest of the content in the picture, but I really believe that the photographer's mind is a way more important tool than the technical equipment", she says.
Henri Cartier-Bresson: "To take photographs means to recognize - simultaneously and within a fraction of a second - both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis".
Merethe Wessel-Berg's works are exhibited in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Crimea, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Greece, Russia, U.S, Taiwan, Philippines, Belarus, China and Norway.
Featured/ published in PAPER Magazines (Arts/ Photography):
-SHOTS Magazine (Issues # 136 and # 137)
-Black and White Magazine, U.S (Issues #107, #121, #125 and #126).
-Art Ascent Art & Literature Journal (6 pages presentation)
-Light - A Journal of Photography and Poetry (New York)
-Fotografi (8 pages presentation)
Featured/ published in ONLINE/ DIGITAL Magazines (Photography/ Arts):
-Photographize Magazine (New York) (Issue # 38)
-Light - A Journal of Photography and Poetry (New York)
-Street Photography Magazine
-Don't Take Pictures Magazine
-Feature Shoot Magazine
-The Independent Photographer
-Adore Noir Black and White Fine Art Photography Magazine (FB).
-Life Framer Collection
-Lens Culture Portfolio
-The Edge of Humanity Magazine
-Lenscratch ("Summer" and "Snow" Exhibition)
Featured/ published in BOOKS/ CATALOGUES:
-"Flowing City" collective black and white editorial project composed by images and words, with Italian writer/ journalist Roberto Srelz and selected photographers (published by Exhibit Around/ dotART Art Association).
-"URBAN unveils the City and its secrets Vol. 03 Photobook”. Selected photographers of urban photography (published by dotART Art Association)
-"The Independent Photographer Talent of the Year 2018 Photobook" (Berlin-based), selected photographers.
INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS (Solo and Group):
-"Flowing City" collective black and white editorial project composed by images and words, and an exhibition - with Italian writer/ journalist Roberto Srelz and selected photographers (published by Exhibit Around/ dotART Art Association).
-CDOC Chengdu Photography Center, Chengdu, China.
-Splashlight Studios, New York, U.S.
-Event Centre of SM City Pampanga, Philippines.
-The Novorossiysk Historical Museum, International Festival of Photography PhotoVisa, Russia.
-Berlin Foto Biennale, and The 4th Biennal of Fine Art & Documentary Photography, Germany.
-Harvey Milk Photo Center, StreetFoto San Francisco Festival, U.S.
-Studio 314 Art Gallery, Xamza, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
-House of Lucie, Bangkok, Thailand.
-The Center for Fine Art Photography (C4FAP), Colorado, U.S.
-Trieste Photo Days, Trieste, Italy. SOLO, "Paris/ Hide".
-The Brussels Street Photography Festival Preview, Belgium.
-Trieste Airport, Trieste, Italy.
-PH21 Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.
-Photo Center Gogolevsky, Moscow, Russia.
-Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
-Black Box Gallery, Oregon, U.S.
-Artel Gallery, Minsk, Belarus.
-Profeta Galeria, Budapest, Hungary.
-SDA Amphitheater, 12F School of Design and Arts, Manila, Philippines.
-Gallery of the Franco Crimean Republican Scientific Library, Simferopol, Crimea.
-Galeria Valid Foto BCN, Barcelona, Spain.
-Kisüzem, Budapest, Hungary.
-400 Bar, Budapest, Hungary.
-Pierwszy Lokal, Krakow, Poland.
-Restoran Polet, Belgrade, Serbia.
-Meduza, Belgrade, Serbia.
-Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece.
-A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, U.S.
-The Darkroom Gallery, Essex, U.S.
-PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, U.S.
-Carter House Gallery, California, U.S.
NATIONAL EXHIBITIONS (Solo and Group):
-House of Photography/ Fotografiens Hus, Oslo, Norway. SOLO, "Movement".
-Galleri R5, The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Oslo, Norway. SOLO.
-Galleri Rød. Halden’s Historical Collections/ Haldens Historiske Samlinger, Halden Museum. Rød Herregård, Norway. SOLO.
-The Norwegian Railway Museum/ Norsk Jernbanemuseum, Hamar, Norway.
-Haldens Historiske Samlinger, co-operation with Det Norske Blåseemsemble, Halden, Norway. SOLO.
-Day of Photography, Karl Johansvern, Norway’s National Museum of Photography/ Preus Fotomuseum, Horten, Norway.
-Kokopelli House, Haugesund, Norway. SOLO.
AWARDS/ ACHIEVEMENTS/ GRANTS:
-Selected for The Print Swap Show, The Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA), in venue ROW DTLA Arts District in Los Angeles.
-Selected for The Print Swap Collection, Feature Shoot Magazine.
-Urban Photo Awards (Finalist)
-IPA International Photography Awards (1st Prize Award and 5 x Honorable Mention Awards).
-Project-/ Exhibition Grant (2 times), The Norwegian Professional Photographer’s Fund/ Norske Fagfotografers Fond (Norway).
-Invited for Life Framer Collection.
-The 9th Pollux Awards (Finalist).
-The 10th Pollux Awards (Finalist x 2, Honorable Mention x 1).
-MIFA - Moscow International Foto Awards (3rd Prize).
-Px3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris (2nd Prize Award x 2, Honorable Mention Award x 2).
-The 9th Julia Margaret Cameron Award (Category Winner).
-The 10th Julia Margaret Cameron Award (Finalist x 2, Honorable Mention x 1).
-The International Street Photography Awards, StreetFoto San Francisco Festival.
-The 2nd Charles Dodgson Black & White Award.
-The Independent Photographer (2nd Prize, and Editor's Pick).
-Nikonians Photography Awards (Finalist)
-IPA International Photography Awards Best of Show
-Lens Culture Street Photography Awards
-Invited for portfolio account Lens Culture.
-Project-/ Travel Grant, Jan Baashuus Jessens Scolarship (Norway).
-Gullsnitt, the Norwegian Annual Awards of Advertising Photography, Norway (5 Awards).
-Project-/ Equipment Scholarship, Libresse jentefond (Norway).
-Photographer of the Year 2002/ 2003 (Black & White Paper Print) and 2001/ 2002 and 2002/ 2003 (Colour Paper Print), Oslo Camera Club OKK (Norway).
Merethe is autodidact in photography. She has a BA of Pedagogical subjects from Oslo Metropolitan University, and a continuing education of Pedagogical Development Work from HSN (University College of Southeast Norway).