Self Reflection:
Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen

Self Reflection:<br>Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen

Submerged tulips. Distorted cloves of garlic. Segmented grapefruits. These are the visual motifs of Danish photographer Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen’s latest monograph Self Reflection, published by Disko Bay. Across mirrors, reflections and illusions, the artist examines how perception can be twisted and subverted. The artist asks questions about how individual viewers see the world, testing the boundaries between reality, fantasy and the surreal. Each image is naturally distorted, using reflective surfaces on hand. By placing nature, the body, fruits and flowers in a shared context, Ebbensen simulates both the familiar and strange.

Ebbesen boasts an impressive oeuvre, having shown works in both Europe and the United States, and has featured in magazines including Vanity Fair, and Vogue. There’s a fine art photography feel to her practice, evoking the Renaissance paintings of Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel (1631-1697). In Pomegranates and Other Fruit in a Landscape, the artist renders cracked open pomegranates and softened apricots and figs. Towards the edge of the frame, we see a small lizard observing the wealth of food on offer. Elsewhere, Ebbensen’s images conjure the dramatic dynamism of photographer Ori Gersht’s exploding flower paintings.

Ebbesen has a background in medicine. Speaking to Metal Magazine, she remarks, “I think it is interesting that a lot of my work is about the body and self-image, especially when my day job during my studies was assisting my mother, a plastic surgeon. It fascinates me what is going on in the brain when you create art. It’s a process that, at least to me, looks very subconscious and connected to feelings rather than the logical and conscious mind.” Indeed, there is something clinical about the artist’s images, an interrogate of life and death. In an image laden with clementines, lemons and grapefruits, we see citrus fruits taken over by decay.

Self Reflection is published with the support of Fotografiska Museum Stockholm and accompanies the artist’s solo exhibition Kaleidoscope, running until 12 May. In the show, the artist manipulates the physical rules of image-making, drawing out elements from the subconscious ego. The result is a blend of colour, motion, and material shift. We’re never quite sure if we’re above or below water; the audience is taken on a rollercoaster of texture and form. Ebbesen explains, “I try to bend reality so the observer can experience something other than the reality we are used to; I want them to think about what is reality in what we see.”

Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen: Self Reflection | DISKO Bay

Words: Chloe Elliott

Image Credits:

All images courtesy of Henriette Sabroe Ebbesen ©