In 2022, I visited Diane Arbus’ exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. When I stood there surrounded by the portraits, all I could feel was the one I could not see: DIANE ARBUS. I had entered the world of Diane Arbus and I was looking at exactly the same things she had looked at. For me, her exhibition is not about the people I saw. It’s about Diane Arbus and who she was in the moments she took the photographs.
The same effect has one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen called VERTIGO made by Alfred Hitchcock. The retired policeman played by James Stewart helps an old friend to find out things about his wife. So we think the story is about the wife when in fact it’s about James Stewart. His character is being used to set up the perfect murder. I think it’s a wonderful edge and adds to the dizziness Vertigo is referring to.
I ask myself is it not the same with all of us? We go to work, we get mad at our boss or fellow colleague, we get upset with our stepmother or whatever and get stuck in a world we think we have little power to change so we lose ourselves. But the story of our lives has never been about work, the stepmother or annoying colleagues. It’s been about us all the time and while we are busy being angry or frustrated it’s our life that runs out.
HOW THE COMPANY OF MUSHROOMS
CHANGED MY LIFE
It was just after lunchtime the 10th of February 2018. I was driving back to Malmo from Copenhagen. The sky was grey and like a bad Hollywood movie rain was pouring down just to rub it all in. My wife and I had split up in the worst way. I had bought an apartment I had not seen and came with my clothes, a mattress, books, Doris the cat and three pictures I had taken of mushrooms. I had really hit my lowest low. I don’t know how or why but in that confusion and loneliness I made a decision. I was going to follow my creativity and my intuition.
I love to cook and while living in Copenhagen I was a frequent visitor at the Asian food stores. I had no idea what I bought but the king oyster mushrooms and the banana hearts were the most amazing things I had seen. I began taking pictures of them. While working with them I felt so connected, that when the modeling was done, I could not eat them. I was surprised that they could have such an impact on me. I then started to make posters of that simplicity, that beauty and became even more blown away by their impact on my mind.
I believe we are all connected. We might be fooled by what species we belong to and what form our spirit has taken but we are all here to live our lives. The message I hear when I am in the company of the mushrooms, the peppers and the flowers is very simple. We don’t need drugs, sugar, bad tv, destructive sex or whatever escape we use to get high. We just need to grow a beating heart and use our eyes, our nose, our taste, our ears and our ability to touch. Magic is everywhere if we just use our senses to let it in.
Sometimes our most painful experiences contain a gift. Little did I know that the heartache I felt was my wake-up call. It taught me that the death of one life is the birth of another. In following my creativity and my intuition I got a new map and I started, Art Posters by Gry Ellebjerg webbshop. It made me realise what gives meaning to my life. In the end of the day I believe that’s where we find our true home. I hope my pictures will inspire each one of you to never give up on yourself and to always strive towards your dreams.