Marianne Lind

A surreal trip in the magical world of glass

By: Mats Alfredsson | October, 2022

Abstract Photography Marianne Lind
And Time Pass By | Marianne Lind

My meeting with fine art photographer Marianne Lind shook me.

For a few minutes I wasn‘t sure what was real. What is it that I‘m actually seeing.


Marianne‘s images are a mirror of what surrounds us, but things that can‘t be seen with the naked eye. When she points her camera lens towards a plane of glass, such as a vase on the kitchen table, it creates optical phenomena that transport us into new realms.

– When I see into the glass with the aid of the camera, I can suddenly be transported north among snow covered mountains, sometimes to the ocean. It is much like a journey, inwards and outwards Marianne says.

Although this interview takes place over the phone, she takes me on an amazing adventure. Through her passion I see things such as I had never seen before.

– All of my photography takes place on the kitchen counter, the kitchen table or on a windowsill she says. A small tea candle may be all the light source you need to give the glass life enough to create an entire world. Every time is different. Always fascinating.

’Completely uninterested in what is on the other side’

Everything happens through reflections and refractions in the glass.

The usual misinterpretation, like the one I came to when we started talking is that she photographs through the glass and that whatever is behind creates the image. The truth is she is completely uninterested in what is on the other side.


By harnessing the ever-changing refractions of the light, the structure of the glass and the reflected colors from the surrounding she brings forth completely unique images, where nothing is as anything else.


In her series „Streams of Light“ there is an image called „And Time Pass By“. It can be found on her website and in her SPART collection. Marianne describes it as a reflection of evolution. I myself see down into the depths of the deepest ocean where fish like beings swim by leagues deep. You probably see something completely different. Everyone has the opportunity to come to their own conclusion and form their own narrative.


It becomes even more intriguing when Marianne tells us how the image came to be.


– A clear colored glass vase. The window blinds were pulled down. Light! The small “fish” are the rays that comes through the small perforations in the blinds where the string goes through them and is reflected in the glass.

Abstract photography Marianne Lind
Signed Fine Art ´The bluest blue' | Marianne Lind

‘Details that are impossible to see with the naked eye’

That is all you need to create an unexplored new world.

But it is a world with details that are difficult, if not impossible to see with the naked eye. It is only when the camera lens, a macro lens is placed at exactly the right angle that the image appears.


– Happenstance is often the cause. I am often surprised myself by what can happen. When the image “pops out” I experience a total wow feeling. The subject matter is continually changing with how the light falls.


Much like a nature photographer Marianne is dependent on the whims of the light.


Marianne laughs when she momentarily ponders the idea that it is easy to look to deeply into the glass. I understand her thinking. Thinking of how angles, light and timing affect the result, it is easy to get too involved. Much like a metaphor for something completely different.


This poem can be found on Marianne’s website and roughly translated from the original Swedish it goes something like this:

“Amongst stony rubble and rusted refuse, we look for colored bits of glass.

The red ones shine brightest and within them carry life itself.

The blue are the color of dreams.

I hold them to the sky, let the light dance in the glass

And am transported elsewhere.

I own the world

And it fits in the palm of my hand”

Eternity | Marianne Lind

Marianne has reached 70 years of age and has a long career behind her. During the 90’s the was free-lance and worked for various publications, mostly in reportage photography.

‘Marianne has always known what she wants’

Being a woman and a photographer in a city like Uppsala in Sweden wasn’t easy back then, she says. There were many who looked down upon women in the profession.


But she has always known what she wants.

– I’ve always been very persistent, done things my own way. Like when I came into a camera store and wanted to look at a new Nikon. The shop attendants thought that I as a woman should not be looking at the professional cameras but rather something else.


– But I came out with a Nikon, she exclaims with a satisfied laugh.

‘A paradoxical personality’

Throughout our conversation I experience Marianne as a very strong and goal orientated person. Therefore, it is a paradox when she reveals her lack of self-confidence. Her images and stories portray something completely different.

– I suppose it’s the artist soul, where one looks down on themselves and thinks one isn’t good enough.

She started her own company as a free-lancer. Selling her services as a photographer and a writer. At the same time, she set herself a goal. First a show at the city art museum and getting into Pressens Bildbyrå stock agency in Sweden.

Allright then. She called the stock agency and got an immediate no; they were not interested.

But I persisted and nagged my way into coming in and showing my images.


Once there they loved her stuff. All of a sudden, the first goal was reached.


– They liked my images of children which at the time I was working on.

‘The five year goal was reached in two months’

Almost immediately the museum contacted her and wanted to exhibit Marianne’s images of children.


– I had a five year goal and everything came through in two months. Pretty good result, hah, hah.

The Collection BY the Sea

For a while a lot was going on. She moved, single, a mother with a young child and got into the renowned photo school at Biskups Arnö in Sweden with a major in documentary photography. Worked as a reportage photographer and later as a high school photography teacher.


– But I have a hard time being on someone’s leash. Really need to do my own thing.


That was the way that led to her seeing the possibilities of glass.


– I felt as though most of photography was pretty similar, so I started to experiment with glass and that’s how it all started.

‘Talent has taken her out into the world’

Marianne’s unique style and talent has taken her out into the world.

She has had exhibitions in London and in the US where she exhibited at an art fair represented by 18 countries.

– Then I was asked to exhibit in Japan but I bailed on that.


What !


– I guess it’s my lack of confidence that raised its ugly head she laughs. But I have travelled a lot to different art associations and shown my images. Often the visitors are fascinated and want to start experimenting themselves as soon as they get home.


Which is much harder than it sounds. Mariannes style is difficult to copy. Not everyone sees the same way.


– I have trained my ability to see and have been using this technique for a long while. And you need to know what type of glass works. And a large dose of patience.

Nåden att bli buren | Marianne Lind

‘Curiosity took me further’

For a while even Marianne lost her way. She forgot how to find the image.


– It felt like I was done! I tried but didn’t get anywhere. Nothing! Then by chance it exploded. All due to a lonely vase on the kitchen table. I found new images and then there was no stopping it. Curiosity took me further.


– I worked for example actively with “ocean images”. I love the ocean! But it’s all a “trick”. There is no ocean there, but I trick the brain into seeing it…


The images aren’t done just because the lens and the eye have caught them. Postproduction is a large part of her creative process. It is like painting with a brush, one more reason for why it is hard to copy.


What’s next?


– Hmmm, don’t know. But there is a whole lot to explore for a creative soul!


That question still hangs in the air when we finish our interview. This is inspiration at it’s best and I am more than curious about where it leads.

Hidden in the dark | Marianne Lind

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