Land In Land
I make images to better understand the many different ways I experience land.
I walk through landscapes, looking closely; sometimes carefully choosing the location of my next footstep and other times pausing to survey my surroundings. Often, I wonder what’s around the next corner or over the next hill and what I can’t see within or beyond it. I experience the land with my whole body; sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and a rhythm of flow when moving through it. Always I wonder how I can capture those sensations in the images I make.
Not unlike looking at a painting, when looking at land very closely a chaotic abstraction emerges and when looking at it from a distance a larger structure appears. Unlike looking at a painting the whole never fully emerges. Perhaps separation is an illusion an image’s frame perpetuates, tempting us to see single images as complete in themselves rather than fragments of an unfolding continuum. Far too often, the frame directs our attention outward without reminding us to look inward at the same time. And so we separate ourselves. But at what cost?
The images in Land In Land all join two views from the same area; one, a detail of the ground I’m standing on; and two, a more expansive view of the landscape I’m moving through. Near and far, literal and abstract, inside and outside are presented simultaneously.
These images are as curious about time as they are about space. Two moments, passing relatively closely together, are joined; the final image doesn’t appear until both moments have passed, but the images created in those moments persist and merge. Each moment and location becomes a part of a larger continuum. Accumulating slowly, building up layer upon layer, observation, memory, and imagination comingle.
Consider this emotional archeology. These images are presented not as final answers or proof but as evidence found in a continuing process of searching and questioning. While it’s clear that not all of the pieces have been found, and those that have been have only partially been fit together, larger patterns begin to emerge.
There are lands within land. Sometimes the abstract patterns found look like the larger land they are drawn from; other times they resemble more distant lands. How many lands does one land contain within it? Where does one end and another begin?
There are lands within us. Sometimes the abstract details look like the human body. How many ways are we and the land alike? And how many lands do we hold within us? Are we lands within land?