Merethe Wessel-Berg is a Norwegian photographer based in Oslo, Norway (b. 1973, Aurskog, Norway).
Her specialities are fine art photography, street photography and personal narratives, expressed in black and white. Henri Matisse: "I've been forty years discovering that the queen of all colours is black".
Curiosity is her main tool in photography and in life.
She would like her photographs to be like questions. Like scenes from a movie. The immediate. "I follow my intuition when shooting, trusting it will lead me to the pictures that trigger some emotions in me. The selection and editing process could be more of a rational process. But still, the emotional aspect and content is important to me during the whole process".
"When I make my pictures, I use my temperament", she says. "And I hope that the pictures have enough space and openness to allow the viewers to hear their own associations, too, it doesn't matter if they are the same as mine or something completely different".
Merethe wants to explore the nuances, what she didn´t already know, what takes her by surprise, rather than the main events or clear, closed stories. "I am amazed by the fact that a picture can turn what was almost invisible or lost into something important - by separating it and keeping it. What was hidden in the shadows, what was there just before, after or in between, can become a diamond. I like looking at the world through the filter of black and white - it's still the same, yet so different".
About the passion for urban photography:
"I spent my childhood and youth on the Norwegian countryside, and I was always fascinated by the unpredictable soul of the city. Surprises, possibilities, questions. Scenes that take place at the corners of the street, inside the apartments and in the cafes, in cars and in the underground. Architecture, stories, people, lives. To me, wandering in the streets, allowing the scenes to surprise me, is like opening a box full of endless treasures. They just never ends. The reality is more interesting than I could ever make up. I am interested in different aspects of identity, and this might influence my way of looking at the world, the city, and the people in it - and I guess it might influence my pictures, too. The boundaries and the lack of boundaries between people. The individuals and the crowds - being an individual in the crowd, and being part of the crowd as an individual. But still, my shooting process is really intuitive, so it's not that rational. And of course it has to be supported by the right technical choices, I just believe that the photographer's mind is a way more important tool than the technical equipments".
Merethe Wessel-Berg's works are exhibited in Germany, Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Crimea, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Greece, Russia, U.S, Taiwan, Philippines, Belarus, China and Norway.
Her pictures are featured in paper magazines/ journals like SHOTS Magazine (Issues # 136 and # 137), Black and White Magazine, U.S (Issues #107 and #121), Art Ascent Art & Literature Journal (6 pages presentation), Light - A Journal of Photography and Poetry, Fotografi, =Oslo and "URBAN unveils the City and its secrets Vol. 03” (Photography book, selected photographers of urban photography, published by dotART) and more. Online: Street Photography Magazine, Light - A Journal of Photography and Poetry, Life Framer Collection, Lens Culture Portfolio, Foto.no, The Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Independent Photographer, Lenscratch ("Summer" Exhibition), Streetfoto.org, Art-angle, Designpilot and more.
EXHIBITIONS (Solo and Collective:)
-The Center for Fine Art Photography (C4FAP), Colorado, U.S.
-Trieste Photo Days, Trieste, Italy. SOLO.
-PH21 Gallery, and Profeta Galeria, Budapest, Hungary.
-Galeria Valid Foto BCN, Barcelona, Spain.
-The Brussels Street Photography Festival Preview, Belgium.
-Artel Gallery, Minsk, Belarus.
-Trieste Airport, Trieste, Italy.
-Kisüzem (Restaurant/ Bar), and 400 Bar, Budapest, Hungary.
-Pierwszy Lokal (Bar), Krakow, Poland.
-Restoran Polet, and Meduza Cafe, Belgrade, Serbia.
-Photo Center Gogolevsky, Moscow, Russia.
-Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
-Black Box Gallery, Oregon, U.S.
-Blank Wall Gallery, Athens, Greece.
-A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, U.S.
-Harvey Milk Photo Center, StreetFoto San Francisco Festival, U.S.
-Studio 314 Art Gallery, Xamza, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
-House of Lucie, Bangkok, Thailand.
-The Darkroom Gallery, Essex, U.S.
-PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, U.S.
-SDA Amphitheater, 12F School of Design and Arts, Manila, Philippines.
-Gallery of the Franco Crimean Republican Scientific Library, Simferopol, Crimea.
-CDOC Chengdu Photography Center, Chengdu, China.
-Splashlight Studios, New York, U.S.
-Event Centre of SM City Pampanga, Philippines.
-The Novorossiysk Historical Museum, International Festival of Photography PhotoVisa, Russia.
-Berlin Foto Biennale, and The 4th Biennal of Fine Art & Documentary Photography, Germany.
-Carter House Gallery, California, U.S.
-Kokopelli House, Haugesund, Norway. SOLO.
-The Norwegian Railway Museum/ Norsk Jernbanemuseum, Hamar, Norway.
-Galleri Rød. Halden’s Historical Collections/ Haldens Historiske Samlinger, Halden Museum. Rød Herregård, Norway. SOLO.
-Day of Photography, Karl Johansvern, Norway’s National Museum of Photography/ Preus Fotomuseum, Horten, Norway.
-Haldens Historiske Samlinger, co-operation with Det Norske Blåseemsemble, Halden, Norway. SOLO.
-Galleri R5, The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Culture, Oslo, Norway. SOLO.
-House of Photography/ Fotografiens Hus, Oslo, Norway. SOLO.
-Urban Photo Awards.
-IPA International Photography Awards.
-Invitation Life Framer Collection.
-9th and 10th Pollux Awards.
-MIFA - Moscow International Foto Awards.
-Px3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris.
-The 9th and the 10th Julia Margaret Cameron Award.
-The International Street Photography Awards, StreetFoto San Francisco Festival.
-The 2nd Charles Dodgson Black & White Award.
-The Independent Photographer.
-Nikonians Photography Awards.
-Project-/ Exhibition Grant, The Norwegian Professional Photographer’s Fund/ Norske Fagfotografers Fond (Norway).
-IPA International Photography Awards Best of Show
-Lens Culture Street Photography Awards
-Invitation portfolio account Lens Culture.
-Project-/ Travel Grant, Jan Baashuus Jessens Scolarship (Norway).
-Gullsnitt, the Norwegian Annual Awards of Advertising Photography (Norway).
-Project-/ Equipment Scholarship, Libresse jentefond (Norway).
-Photographer of the Year 2002/ 2003 (Black & White Paper Print) and 2001/ 2002 and 2002/ 2003 (Colour Paper Print), Oslo Camera Club OKK (Norway).
Merethe is autodidact in photography. She holds a BA of Pedagogical subjects from HiOA (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), and a continuing education of Pedagogical development work from HSN (University College of Southeast Norway).