Character #IV 
Anna Aurora Astrup (1871–1968)
Among Virgin Mountains. Plate # 18 Across from Kangerdlugssuaq (2015). Photography: digital c-print, oak frame, 128x193 cm
Character #IV Anna Aurora Astrup (1871–1968) Among Virgin Mountains. Plate # 18 Across from Kangerdlugssuaq (2015). Photography: digital c-print, oak frame, 128x193 cm


Tonje Bøe Birkeland

Born in Bergen in 1985. Lives and works in Bergen.

Birkeland works with photography and installation. In 2008 she started working with THE CHARACTERS, aimed at encompassing an entire artistic practice. Through THE CHARACTERS, she has given women a position within the landscape while exploring the authenticity of history. While the romantic motives of the male wanderer have been well-documented, in Birkeland’s project, female explorers are staged in Unknown Territory. In front of the heroine looms a grand exploration; beneath her, history is formed.

Character # V 
Bertha Bolette Boyd (1900–1985)
The Bhutan Trilogy
Plate # 7 Pangalabtsa 4250 m.a.s.l. (2016)
Photography: digital c-print, oak frame, 134x195 cm
Character # V. Bertha Bolette Boyd (1900–1985). The Bhutan Trilogy. Plate # 7. Pangalabtsa 4250 m.a.s.l. (2016). Photography: digital c-print, oak frame, 134×195 cm



Each of the characters shapes a meta-journey, Birkeland’s travels: The imagined female heroines have taken her to the East Coast of Greenland, the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and lately on three expeditions through the Inner Himalayas of Bhutan. Photographs and journals expound time and place, while investigating personality and physical limits.

Character IV, Plate 1, Astrups Horn
Character # IV, Anna Aurora Astrup (1871–1968) Among Virgin Mountains. Plate # 1 Astrup´s Horn (2015). Photography: digital c-print, oak frame, 128×193 cm



Birkeland will present her photo book of THE CHARACTERS during Coasts fourth edition.

Birkeland was awarded The Victor Fellowship by the Hasselblad Foundation (2012) for THE CHARACTERS. THE CHARACTERS is presented in her own artist book of the same name (2016), which received a silver medal in the Norwegian book contest Årets vakreste bøker, and was featured in Norwegian Journal of Photography, Fritt Ord, Oslo (2017) and Girl on Girl – Art & Photography in the Age of the Female Gaze, Charlotte Jansen, Laurence King Publishing, London (2017).

Birkeland holds an MFA from the Bergen Academy of Art & Design (2012).

Tonje Bøe Birkeland
Tonje Bøe Birkeland


Selected exhibitions include: For a gentle song would not shake us if we had never heard a loud one, Fotogalleriet, Oslo (2016) / Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen (2018), Photographic Field Trips vol. II, Bergen Kjøtt, Bergen, #ME, Preus Museum, Horten (2016), Inner & Outer Landscapes / Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen (2014), Character # IV Anna Aurora Astrup, Fotogalleriet Format, Malmö (2015) / Darkness & Light, Scandinavian House, New York (2014) / Typer og Arketyper, Galleri F15, Moss (2013) / New Nordic Photography, Hasselblad Center, Gothenburg (2012).

www.tonjebirkeland.com
Instagram @tonje.birkeland