Jan Svenungsson

Kotka project image backstory

The photograph used for the Kotka project image was exposed during JS' first reconnaissance visit to Kotka in late 1994. As a camera had been forgotten, JS bought a disposable camera from a local store and used it. Sometime later, back in Stockholm, the artist decided to try painting the projected sculpture onto the photograph in order to be able to judge its effect on the surrounding cityscape. At this time home computers were hardly powerful enough for professional image manipulation work in Photoshop – and it wasn't until 1996 that JS decided to start learning to use this software. The artist now used oil colours and brushes to paint, directly onto the c-print and in proportional scale, a finished chimney sculpture on the projected site. The experience proved so rewarding that this technique has been used for creating project images for all subsequent chimney sculptures. Nevermind that digital manipulation since has become ubiquitous.