The Landscape At Hand
From my entry in this year’s Aperture Portfolio Prize.
The landscape is usually presented as being elsewhere. It is never near at hand. The photographs in the pages of National Geographic or hanging on the wall of my favorite gallery are never about the spot just around the bend from where I live. To get to these landscapes takes travel and time. Time is needed not only as the currency of travel but also as a destination in and of itself.
Landscapes are a dynamic mixture of place, time and natural forces acting on the land and it’s human accretions. Trapped by geography and time I can only ever hope to witness a small sliver of landscape. To conserve the currency of time my photographs are private landscapes. They depict my personal ecologies, the intersection between the natural and constructed, here, near at hand.
It is sometimes an uneasy relationship. After all, contrary to what we are told as children, we were never given dominion over the earth. The natural world is indifferent to our beliefs and constructs. A weed is just as valid as a rose and only people expect to recognize borders.