THE MOUNTAIN SERIES
Images of landscapes affect us both physically and psychologically; they resonate with genetically encoded instincts that we aren’t conscious of. The physical landscape is the provider of the heritage of human needs, a reminder of humans’ fragility and vulnerability. The drama and sublimity of grand vistas generates awe and humility. Most of us in the developed world have transferred direct immersion in the power of landscape into abstract environmental concerns and digital experience. We’ve distanced ourselves.
This series of drawings, digital explorations, and paintings - including public on-site painting performances, focuses on the primal alpine landscape as metaphor, geological time and place beyond personal or general human scale. I’m interested in how we perceive, how scale changes that perception, how images can be understood in various ways, how a sense of place can be expressed.
Topographic maps define geography, the features of landforms. Symbolic and abstract reasoning enables us to see depiction as a representation of ideas; Alfred Korzybski assertion: “the map is not the territory” and Joseph Kosuth’s visual explorations, have prompted similar thoughts in my use of manipulated and layered topographical and geological maps to underscore perceiving a thing in different forms of depiction.
The stark images are developed mostly with ink, acrylics, and hand-ground maple charcoal. Many works incorporate symbols, variations of plus and minus signs. Metal-leaf (gold, silver) has a connotation of value; I’m gilding the landscape. Some materials reflect humanity’s interaction with the environment: for charcoal I cut down trees, split them to size, burn them in my stove, hand-grind the remaining solid chunks of charcoal into a fine powder. This is contrasted by my interest in using digital technology to explore image-making in ways previously unavailable.
S T A T E M E N T