Poetry in five cycles

Each cycle bears a completely characteristic charm of romantic photographs where the atmosphere is more precious than the event. The scenic quality of the very sight in the exterior, right by the sea, with the group of girls in white belongs to a sophisticated  Mediterranean elegance, poetics of whiteness and silence. Almost without movement, such subtle female characters at play take possession of the area. They do not dominate, but belong to it naturally with a certain, nearly mysterious, magical, forgotten modesty and at the same time freshness without pathos. This specific atmosphere results from the fact that Norman is not a photographer of pure light or contrast. He is an intimist and creator of poetic atmosphere, in which, both in the interior and exterior, characters, nature and the surrounding blend into an almost idyllic sfumato. The soft, quiet and elegant figure of a woman, her inner and outer purity or a ballet dancer in full swing are his true protagonists. Or the protagonist is the wordless speech of movement subtly choreographed and scenical, in minimal space that always has its environmental fullness and spiritual value. Seaside, cliffs, stairs, arched passages and portals, or the graphicness of the interior and stylized, harmonious lines of objects, parquet or back of the white chair. Then harmony and fine correspondence with the model appear. Between measuredness, mild sensuality immersed into the softness of ambiance with movement appearing and disappearing. Without drama or aggressiveness. Then an interactive, essentially relaxed relation between the real and unreal, actual and imaginary is created, which is unobtrusively determined by timeless slowness and softened by sfumato. And so, longing to fly - model’s dance or ballet dancer’s levitation, an illusion is created as a new area of fascination and belief. Behind the romantic (sepia) or sometimes dramatic (in relation of black to the figure - face) the absurdity of reality is so hidden. His photographs are taken away from it, from the banality, triviality and cruelty of everyday life, from the merciless wringer, from time that is slipping away. On the one hand, with the help of illusion they hurry towards harmony as the ultimate form of the spiritual fulfillment. And on the other hand, in such a creative process, Norman is a poet of intimist wisthfulness. At the same time sensitive and fragile. Remarkably determined and strong. But also subtle and elegant, with very high aesthetic standards which by employing good technique he tries to convert into a relevant work of art.

Gorka Ostojic Cvajner


Flight from Cold

My friend Mario Giacomelli once whispered in my ear “I wished to describe the suffering in this world” - it was shortly before his death: he lay in the hospital in Senigallia and he was in a very bad way. At the same time, he endeavoured to glorify Nature, construed as the infinite source of artistic inspiration.
This cruel hard Nature, organized around Darwinist selection whereby the large devour the small and humans to my mind become all the more human the more they distance themselves from this thoroughly unethical Nature, this Nature can only be seen from a Romantic angle of supra-ethical position as a harmonius whole.
The flight from cold into harmony is to be encountered in the photographs of Norman Douglas Pensa, the awareness that the laws of Nature are immutable and that it will perhaps take millenia for humans to become “more human”.
Is the flight into beauty to be condamned? It can also be the artist’s justified answer to reality, the construction of a counter world of the imagination that conveys to us in the intimacy of a female body, the movement of a dancing girl and (why not?) swaying flower the illusion of harmony.

Helmut Schober