Marja Pirilä (1957) is a photographer from Finland who has worked intensively with the technique since 1996. A camera obscura (meaning literally “darkened chamber”) is a device for projecting an image on a screen, using either a lens or pinhole.
For her, camera obscura is a method by which to survey the living environment
and mental landscapes, summoning subconscious feelings into the light of day.
In camera obscura darkness, silence and slowness compel one to contemplate the world in a novel way, from new angles. When the space transforms into a “dark room” it conjures up the core and magic of photography again and again.
The pictures are not only a person’s living environment but also constitute an excursion into the mental landscape: reflections of memories, reveries, fears and dreams. In her work, Pirila chooses her portrait subjects before considering their spaces. She says she “just accepts his/her environment as it is.” It’s a collaborative process, partially because the subject experiences the outside world projected on their walls and ceilings for the very first time during the portrait session.
See more of her fascinating works in her website: