“I’m from a small town in Northern Finland surrounded by a vast, sparsely populated wilderness. Most pass through the town on their way someplace else without ever knowing it was a hotspot for UFO sightings in the 1960s.
Unaware of this history myself, it wasn’t until I read my grandfather’s book that I learnt of the incredible stories of supernatural events, bravery and struggle against hardship in what is largely a barren land. Already suffering from dementia, he was unable to answer any of the questions I had so I went looking for the answers. I turned to the people who had seen the mysterious lights, to newspaper archives and my family’s photo albums from the era.
The UFO sightings coincided with a time of great struggle for Northern Finland. People flooded from the countryside to the cities in search of jobs leaving abandoned houses scattered across this beautiful but harsh landscape. It’s no wonder that the UFO sightings embodied a fear of the future, the unknown and the inexorable shift in lifestyles and livelihoods going on around them. Some reacted to the mysterious lights with fear, some took them as a sign they were not alone.”
– Maria Lax
Maria Lax is a London based photographer originally from a small town in Northern Finland. She is known for her use of colour and and experimental camera techniques.
Recent clients include British Telecom, Virgin Records, Glass Magazine, Panasonic and Maya Njie perfumes. Her work has been exhibited and published worldwide. Maria is one of the winners of British Journal Photography’s Female in Focus awards 2019, a finalist for PHMuseum Photography grant 2020 and the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2020.
Maria’s first monograph, Some Kind of Heavenly Fire was published in February 2020 and is currently on it’s second print run. It was chosen as one of the photobooks of the year by Photobookstore.
‘Some Kind Of Heavenly Fire’ is available now via Setanta Books