Posti has granted the stamp art promotion award for 2023 to art photographer Christoffer Relander, who is known for his multiple exposure photographs that combine human figures and nature. Posti’s art award includes a prize of EUR 10,000 and a stamp publication of the artist’s works.
Two of Christoffer Relander’s photographs were chosen as the theme for the stamps to be issued in September 2023: Perfume from 2013 and Butterfly Mind II from 2023. Both photos are from the series
We Are Nature, which Relander started in 2010. “The series still continues today and has become an increasingly personal project over the years,” he says.
The stamps designed by Relander also include a 2D barcode, which makes the mechanical sorting of items easier.
Christoffer Relander familiarized himself with photography while serving as a graphic designer for the Nyland Brigade’s magazine during his military service. “I became fascinated with multiple exposure when I realized that I could use the technique to make photos, and not just take them. Creating a multiple exposure photo is similar to painting and visual design. Training in graphic design provides a good foundation for mastering dynamic shapes and silhouettes.”
Relander is interested in the history of multiple exposure, and he has created multiple exposure photographs traditionally with film as well as with a digital camera and image processing software. “Regardless of the technology used, multiple exposure requires a great deal of advance planning and patience. You’ll make a lot of mistakes when shooting multiple exposures, from which you’ll learn something new every time. You’ll learn how the algorithm works by experimenting.”
The themes of Christoffer Relander’s photos are nature, humans, timelessness, surrealism and poetry.
Nature has been an important part of Relander’s life since childhood. “I grew up in the countryside and spent a lot of time in the forest as a child. In a sense, I still play in the woods in my photos. Nature constantly gives me new ideas and stimulates my imagination. There is something human about trees, leaves and branches with their shapes and patterns. Deciduous trees and oaks, in particular, are my favorites.”
When photographing people, Relander wants to focus more generally on the human form rather than the individual. “When the people featured in the photos are anonymous, the viewer has more room for their own interpretation. Identifiable persons would draw too much attention to themselves in the photos.”
Christoffer Relander also works on commissioned projects for clients, such as companies that take climate change and sustainable development into account in their operations.
With its own art award, Posti wants to raise the status of stamps and art and increase people’s appreciation of them.
“This is the first time that Posti’s art award is celebrating photography. Christoffer Relander’s multiple exposure art photographs creatively combine human portraits and nature. With his camera, he conjures up dreamlike fairytale worlds in which viewer would also personally like to immerse,” says Tommi Kantola, Design Manager at Posti, who is responsible for the selection of the artists and for providing guidance on the artistic work for the stamps.
This is the seventh time Posti’s art award has been presented. In 2017, the art award went to sculptor Jasmin Anoschkin, in 2018 to graffiti artist EGS, in 2019 to fashion designer Mert Otsamo, in 2020 to visual artist Janne Laine, in 2021 to glass artist Alma Jantunen and in 2022 to sculptor Kim Simonsson.
Christoffer Relander, 36
Image material: https://digilibrary.emmi.fi/l/2t8jwjpF9KQb