HOME AND AWAY
In this body of work, I am trying to explore various relationships between people and their surroundings. I look for visually compelling scenes, or places that people gather. Working in a panoramic format, I begin the process of making these photographs 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? What has ultimately emerged in this work though are images that combine a desire to seek new vistas with a longing 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 perceive the place the way I do, I need to have a certain feeling of 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 fifteen 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.
Though I am satisfied that this project is largely complete, I would like to make a few more trips to some specific places to add to the body of work. My intention for the work is to publish it in book form. I would like to arrange a museum, or large private gallery show to coincide with the publication of the book.
The images were made with a Fuji panoramic camera on 120mm color negative film. The prints are made with the Lightjet process, at sizes of 44” and 74” long, in editions of fifteen.