What if a transcendental experience changes your life forever? Sari Soininen is a photographer based in Helsinki whose colourful and otherworldly photography draws from philosophical thoughts and mystical experiences, providing the viewer with alternative ways of perceiving reality. Her book Transcendent Country of the Mind explores encounters with alternative dimensions of reality and perceptions of otherworldly signs around us. It tells a story of the subconsciousness, about the world that resides in the back of our minds.
In her early twenties, Soininen regularly and excessively experimented with LSD, which eventually resulted in an extended psychotic episode that impacted her life profoundly. Fundamentally, this experience changed the way she perceives her surroundings and reality itself: she let go of all her worldly possessions, saw Heaven and Hell and was confronted with a different perception of time and space.
Revisiting this traumatic yet eye-opening experience was a way for Soininen to let go of it. Transcendent Country of the Mind is a representation of this event and offers other similar glimpses of what she discovered behind the curtain of reality. This colourful body of work is a kaleidoscope of mesmerising landscapes, unfamiliar portraits and more. It shows the vivid world around us in all its beauty and darkness. What lies beneath and sparkles above? A journey towards the undiscovered.
Eriskay, 80pp, 21cm × 28cm, paperback, 2022, colour/b&w
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