I have always been fascinated by childbirth and through my profession as a midwife, I have come to gain a unique insight and understanding of that essential moment, when it all begins. I wish to share that moment – as I see it. I strive to create a window into a world that is hidden and mysterious, yet at the same time natural and an inevitable part of life. An ancient tale that is raw, powerful and wondrous.
AnneMette Elmelund - midwife & fine art photographer
Born in 1984. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark
2018-2019 - Copenhagen Film & Photography School, Denmark
2006-2009 - Midwifery School, UC South, Denmark
2020 - 'Partus' - The Censored Exhibition, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Denmark
2020 - 'Partus' - Spring Exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
2020 - 'Partus, Tree of life' - IPA, Best of Show, Okinawa, Japan
2019 - 'Partus, Tree of life' - IPA, Best of Show, Los Angeles, US
2019 - 'Partus, Tree of life' - IPA, Best of Show, New York, US
2019 - 'Amnion' - Basement, Copenhagen, Denmark
2019 - 'Partus' - a handmade photobook - Fragment, Copenhagen, Denmark
2018 - 'New Life' - The Factory of Art & Design, Copenhagen, Denmark
2020 - The Talent Award, Spring Exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
2019 - International Photography Awards - 1st place / Book, Other - New York, US
Jury Statement - The Talent Award
"The newly established Talent Award goes to AnneMette Elmelund (born 1984) for her photo series Partus (2019). The jury has taken it upon itself to help define the purpose of this award and thus the Talent Award is presented to an artist who is in the early phase of her artistic career and has recently had her first show.
AnneMette Elmelund is a midwife and fine art photographer and has, from this unique position, had the opportunity – and courage – to chart aspects of an otherwise closed world, providing a self-possessed photographic documentary perspective. Flesh and boughs, hair and roots are juxtaposed as patterns and organic forms of life and temporality.
A child’s path into the world is presented in a combination of pictorial components of birth and nature. Concrete and abstract at one and the same time.
The jury was struck by Partus’, at once, abstract and very sensuous and intimate expression. With a sure photographic eye, Elmelund documents the emergence of the child from the female genitals which are portrayed as a glistening landscape. The pictures juxtapose and counterpose the force of nature with sectional shots of trees, bark, and water in a synthesis of images where the beginning of life dissolves into nature.
This is courageous photographic art. It is moving, offensive, beautiful, violent, and tangible. The eternal questions of life hit viewers with a physical force. Birth, life, and temporality are stripped of taboo.
Partus revitalises and updates the documentary exploration of the female body and birth as natural elements of women’s lives begun in the 1970s. AnneMette Elmelund’s photographic images are objectified, void of pain, and point to humankind’s existence in the world as transitory nature.
The images are a part of a small book featuring photographs of births and nature.
The jury anticipates with interest AnneMette Elmelund’s exploration of the photographic potential and rethinking of the bodily focus of the 70s and hope she will engage in new important examinations of the meaning of life through photography.
On behalf of this year’s jury
Director, Malmö Art Museum"