Essential Places

Essential Places – Artist’s Statement –

With these images and those from my series Markings, I am exploring the difference between the landscape we expect from our innate memory of nature and the landscape that is implied by the hand of humanity. As we shape the landscape, we shape ourselves; as our landscape changes, we change. Whether we transcend what we see depends on that which is inside of us that we bring to the viewing experience. That change is actual, but also implies new connections between the landscape and our inner selves.

In motion pictures, a dissolve is a transition that eases the viewer through the end of a scene and into the next. In this series of images, fog plays a similar role. It gently guides us through the landscape, from clarity through ambiguity to self-reflection. Working at dawn in fog, I discovered in these places a dreamlike, personal landscape that is calm and hushed. Fog transformed familiar places into symbolic landscapes, revealing and giving significance to some objects while obscuring others. The images ask me to find true meanings in places and things that were once familiar and now appear as foreign territory.

The subtle variations in the gray scale work well in fog but differently from the crystal clear representation often associated with black & white photography. Here the delicate, gray tones seem to gain substance as they conceal the landscape. In fog, perspective is accelerated and the horizon lies undefined. Forms appear and then vanish quickly, creating a changed place within the familiar landscape.

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