Archival pigment prints from the sacred landscapes and liminal places of England and Scotland
Exploring the Liminal Spaces with Photography
My first trip to Ireland in 2001 remains the most inspirational event of my art career to date, and travel remains a major resource for my artwork. In addition to lending imagery for my symbolic figurative paintings, the stunning vistas of Ireland inspired a new series of landscapes in three media, including small-format black and white film photography. I have always used my color photography as reference material for my visionary paintings, while I developed and printed these black and white fine art photographs in the darkroom.
Following my 2010 trip to England, I realized that one particular color photograph — The Track to Nowhere — needed no figurative elements or symbolic additions to make the desired statement. Rather than copy this and other photos in oil or pastel, I decided to print these compositions as artworks in their own right. Freed by the use of digital media, I considered the color in these images to be an important visual element, so in 2012 I began to offer these works as archival pigment prints.
With my photography, I explore some of the same concepts that I address in my visionary paintings. However, I only employ photo editing software to adjust each image to the natural color as I remember it, and to make other basic corrections – all visual elements are naturally occurring. For example, Dunnottar Ghost is an ephemeral self-portrait, created with a tripod and long exposure, inspired by many documented hauntings of the Scottish castle. In my Loch Ness series, I use the mystery of the Loch and Nessie, its famous but elusive inhabitant, as a metaphor for the power of belief, perception, the unseen, faith, and the depths of the subconscious.
As in my visionary paintings, I ask viewers to question their assumptions of the physical as reality and offer a perspective where the tangible coexists with a more fluid spiritual realm. I depict my extraordinary experiences at sacred sites and liminal places in Ireland, England, and Scotland, creating a space where such distinctions are challenged as I investigate the role of art, belief, and the power of positive thinking on the healing process. Through all my works, I seek to directly engage the community, reconnecting city dwellers to a meaningful connection with nature through the peace and transformation it symbolizes.