My name is Maria Fynsk Norup, I’m a fine art photographer, living and working on the tiny island of Ærø in the southernmost part of Denmark.
I moved here from Copenhagen in 2015 with my family, to escape the external stress of the metropol, and I feel so lucky now to be in a place where the ocean and rural landscape is a daily inspiration.
When I work, I often use a combination of self-portraits and the raw beauty of nature in order to tell my stories. Currently my projects revolve around the human-nature interconnection, femininity, and the right to a place in the world. The human-nature interconnection is a strong theme which I am exploring e.g. in my ongoing Dryad series.
My inspiration is drawn from a myriad of sources: art (so many kinds), books (Murakami is a favourite), music and movies. I’m also often directly inspired by dreams, emotions and past experiences; Working with self-portraiture was first a healing journey from old wounds, but has now become an empowering tool to create whenever and wherever I want.
Can you tell us about your background and what lead you down the path to becoming an artist? I have always been a creative at heart, drawing, painting, sculpting a lot when I was young, and then photography took over in my teens when I got my first camera at 12 (a point and click Kodak camera, which impressively enough still works). I just needed to jump some serious hoops before being able to land in the certainty that art is a valuable endevour.
Before finally returning to my creative roots in 2010, I pursued a PhD in classical botany (the most visual/ aesthetic of the biological disciplines). During my graduate studies I lived and worked 2 years at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew in London, as well as 4 years at Copenhagen Botanical Gardens, and the love for and inspiration from the plant world inevitably appears in the visual storytelling in my works.
I’ve never regretted the decision to skip academia for the arts. I learned a lot during those years. But I’ve never been happier than doing what I do now, and it’s also starting to pay off. In the last couple of years my work has received several international awards, and in the last couple of years my images have been shown at several exhibitions both in Denmark and abroad. This year is looking very hopeful as well!
What is your favourite thing to do on a weekend?
One of my favourite non-lens based creative outlets is gardening. I grew up surrounded by garden lovers, and one of our reasons to move to Ærø was to have a huge garden. I’m massively inspired by the new perennial movement and Dutch master-gardener Piet Oudolf who is an artist in his own field. I’m dreaming of visiting one of his large-scale design projects e.g. for the Somerset based branch of the Hauser & Wirth gallery.
One thing you cannot live without?
My husband and my two girls. They are my anchors. Other than that the obvious one is art. I don’t think I would ever be able to not see images everywhere. So to live without some kind of creative outlet would be unimaginable.
Who is your favourite artists (Non NFT)?
On the photographer side I’m inspired by Trine Søndergaard, Astrid Kruse Jensen and Brooke Shaden, for their gentle but insisting look at the world, feminism and our own darkness. But I’m actually more often inspired by classical painters, e.g. light-masters like Vilhelm Hammershøi (who was actually an early adopter of photography!) and Caravaggio, as well as the Pre-Raphaelites for their flower symbolism and storytelling.
Who is your favourite NFT artist?
That is absolutely impossible to narrow down! But two favourites are Nikolina Petolas and Dolce Pagane whom I both love for their incredible imagination.
What made you pursue NFT art?
In December 2021 I won an award through British Journal of Photography (Edition365), where our works were exhibited virtually and subsequently put up for sale as NFTs. Prior to that I had not really looked into the NFT art world, but I now had to learn quickly, so I dove headlong into Twitter… and immediately fell in love with the community. The openness, the sharing of ideas and thoughts, the easy interactions and support between artists, and of course with collectors – everything just appealed to me. It was a bit like discovering a new world, and one I definitely wanted to be a part of.
What is the one piece of NFT art you wish you had purchased but missed out on? I haven’t been around for long, so there hasn’t been that many things I could have bought but missed… However in our recent UkraineRelief fundraiser (https://opensea.io/collection/ukrainereliefcollection) I really wanted to buy Lucid by Mae @enixta but it sold out too quickly.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
There are still so many places I want to go! On the top of my list are Kyoto and rural Japan, and the Mongolia steppes. Those places really call to me. There’s something about the stories these places hold – the ancient structures, the unspoilt and revered nature..
Do you make other forms of art?
2022 plans are to try out cyanotype, mixed media photography and possibly 3d art (inspired by NFT artist friends).
What is coming in the near future?
I’m really excited to be included in the FLOWER GANG exhibition curated by Anna Condo, which will take place in April. I have a few collaborations planned for the year already, and a couple of exhibitions, one of which is ParisPhoto which has been on my wishlist for years! Also I have so much more art to drop, as soon as I make a few more sales of my currently minted work.
What is the biggest piece sold?
It is currently “Faded Beauty” which sold for 1E
Link to Website:
NFT marketplace links: