Home and Away
Home and Away
In these photographs, I am largely exploring visual relationships between people and their surroundings. I begin the compositional process with formalistic concerns, but my interest in the scene quickly deepens as I observe people interacting. Little dramas begin to unfold that may offer insight into their lives, or their relationship to that certain place. Are they at home there, or are they visitors, (like me)? Does what they do, or how they behave there depend on where they are from? Do they bring their life dramas with them, or do they become absorbed with their experience at the place and leave such things behind?
While making these photographs, I have always seen myself making some kind of environmental or sociological statement. How do we really feel about the land? Are we able to open up to what may lay beyond our own story in a certain place? Are we aware of any impact we may be having on that place? What has ultimately emerged for me though, are images that combine a desire to seek new vistas with a yearning to belong. What I have found is that after many years of doing projects on specific places, the sense of place that I have discovered in this work is an interior space that longs to be expressed. The nature of doing this work requires that I set up a large camera in one spot and make exposures of the scene in front of me. This is how I participate in the scene, and it is a fairly solitary pursuit. In order to photograph the place the way I do, I need to have a certain feeling for or sense of the place, yet I have to stand apart and look at it critically. It makes for an emotional experience that is somewhat conflicting.
There are so many places I go where I feel “at home”. I often remark to traveling companions that I could easily live in the place that we happen to visiting. There are several of these places that I return to regularly, always seeking an illusive image that I didn’t get on the last visit. Yet after twenty years or so of making these images, I haven’t moved anywhere. I continue to travel with my panoramic camera making images in places where I could easily see myself living. Yet, I always return home, to print up another set of photographs that express that constant yearning between home and away.