Ghosts Watching Over Me
Interview: Salli Raeste
Photos: Aki-Pekka Sinikoski & Astrid Sinikoski
Ghosts Watching Over Me – Father and daughter picturing their fears away
Ghosts Watching Over Me is a personal project by Finnish photographer Aki-Pekka Sinikoski. It all started on a remote island on a stormy night.
Tell us about this project of yours.
Ghosts Watching Over Me is a photo series which I and my daughter have been photographing as long as from 2013. It tells about a father's and daughter's relationship to each other and the fears, dreams and daydreams of both of us. In the photos there's a child who, however, is never depicted as herself but always playing someone else. The characters in the images are frequently based on things that we have been discussing together. At the beginning of the series these characters were often distinctively ghosts or monsters but along the growing up of my daughter the dreams and fears coming out have been turning more and more abstract all the time. With this the ghosts of the series have also got more abstract shapes and are thus less and less resembling traditional spooks.
How did the series get started?
The series was started in the outer archipelago late in an autumn, when heavy autumnal storms were tearing at the island and the small cottage where we were living for three weeks with no running water and electricity. The waves were growing higher and higher day by day and finally they were even rolling in from the rocks over our cottage. We took the first photos to make visible that storm monster, whose raging out on the sea was frightening my daughter, then four years old. The idea was that if we could make the reason for fear visible by photographing and doing things together, the storm would not be that scary, either. So, the photo series was started almost by accident, with no special planning. But we did notice then that we enjoyed both working together and the images we made.
What are you doing at the moment?
This autumn I have been on parental leave, taking care of my youngest at home. He'll start kindergarten in January and I will return to my regular work with art and photography instead of housekeeping. I have presently several own photo series under work, the one with my daughter being among the most loved. I'm currently busy in creating both a book and an exhibition out of it. Apart from this, I'm also working on the visual identity of a dance performance, plus on a choreography in cooperation with a dancer-choreographer, among other projects. I'm shooting some documentary photo series of my own, writing a children's book and working on this project for saving the oceans... Along with my own projects I also have commissions for various clients.
More photos from Aki-Pekka Sinikoski: www.sinikoski.com