The Thing

by erikasofiahenriksson

It stands in middle of a field, watching passersby with an easy and happy appearance. A piece of the metal has been torn down by the wind but it doesn’t seem to concern it. It has probably never been the overanxious type.

This thing is one of many in a series of almost hundred that I have documented over the course of three years. It all began when I found a lion staring at me, jaws wide open in astonishment. It took quite some time before the second one approached me; a count waiting for some sort of notification that could be either of good or bad. I didn’t wait  long enough to find out which. When I took his picture, that’s when I decided to make it a series. After that moment, they came to me much more often. It’s almost as if they go out of their way to find me, begging me to take their picture. I have entered a new world of reoccurring characters; the timid and surprised, the shocked, the presumptuous. And every time I think I’ve seen them all, a brand new type of character pops up and surprises me.

Sometimes I wonder wether the people who put them together really saw them; are they consciously made or creations of chance? I don’t know if it really matters.

Once in a while I get a quick chat with a human living in or around one of them. At first they are generally suspicious of my, somewhat intrusive, behavior. But as I explain the reason as to why I’m so awfully close to their property their suspicion, and the slightly threatening atmosphere, vanishes. I ask them about the characters they inhabit and they answer that all they have ever seen is a house. Then suddenly, simply because I’ve told them about the characters, they too can see them. I think this is part of my fascination with the characters, they are pedagogical, you can so easily begin to see them in all their “expressiveness”. And once you’ve seen them, it doesn’t take long before you can hear them talk. And they tell us that attention comes prior to caring; that the ability to see, listen and think with our surroundings is the foundation for all forms of well-being on the planet.