Avon by the Sea, NJ
Kenyon Class of ’15, Studio Art major with a concentration in Public Policy
“…Or to render time and stand outside
The horizontal rush of it, for a moment
To have the sensation of standing outside
The greenish rush of it.
Some vertical gesture then, the way that anger
Or desire can rip a life apart,
Some wound of color.”
“Time and Materials”, Robert Hass (2007)
I am on a perpetual mission to challenge the expressive capability of photography. I am driven by the notion of representing a moment through a blurring of the space-time structure in which that moment exists. In this current series, I am using a digital photographic process to envelop the viewer and their senses through abstractly represented empty landscapes.
My primary aim is to collect moments and details of the landscapes through individual photographs, break them down, analyze them, and then reassemble these photographs so they take on the different form of a large compilation. I typically shoot 50-100 pictures of a larger scene, and then layer these images digitally to recreate that scene. The strict structure of my process of the collection and merging of the images governs the quality, depth, and consistency of the works I produce. I shoot the photographs in soft natural lighting, near sunrise or sunset, and utilize a long-exposure technique that lends a cryptic quality to the single image, sometimes blurring the scene beyond total recognition. I originally utilized this process in order to represent the fragmented visual way in which I remember important experiences in my life. In choosing to focus on landscapes for this series, I want to represent the sublime atmosphere of the natural world around us, and how these scenes are ever-present in our daily lives. I want each viewer to project their own experiences with landscapes in their interpretation of the images.
The final products are primarily an investigation of the manipulation of a process, and how the careful, painstaking composition of details can create an image so blurred and mysterious. The expansion and investigation into the potential of my established photographic process has led these works to become visually abstract. I see the layering of these images as representing a continuously ending moment in time: the final product is obviously one still image, but the individual details of the single images within the photograph hint at constant motion. This manipulation creates something soft yet confusing, but not grotesque or alarming. The familiarity of the natural setting creates a sense of immediacy for the viewer, but a confusion of time and place through the geometric contrast created through the layering process simultaneously adds a sense of mystery. What results is a palpable and paradoxical psychological experience. These prints are at once both complex and vague, rich and indecipherable, faithful and fleeting. They each create their own exclusive atmosphere and mimic the fragmented way in which I see the world: a lasting compilation of ephemeral images, some more clear and powerful than others.
–Sarabeth Domal, ‘15