Landscape photography involves going beyond pretty pictures of sunsets or glowering moody skies. It involves asking personal and also political questions:
– how do I feel about and relate to my environment? how does photographic practice increase my awareness of the world around me? how do or should I react to the technological changes that are taking place in the ways people are affecting the environment? what is ‘beautiful’ or ‘ugly’? why?
– why photography? what do I want to say? do I want to portray beauty (form, colour, light, wind and being alive)? sublime (the awe of it all, darkness and light?)? in everything (including things destroying the planet?)? do I want to show human interaction with the environment and social documentary/activism? does photographing the world teach me something new through making me slow down and slice up then reconstruct?
– what is the best way to visually communicate my perceptions and feelings? through photography for different purposes: my professional work on development in Africa, Asia and Latin America and also my art practice and interest in post-modern/multicultural approaches to illustration and digital processes. How do I communicate emotions, feelings and messages in a 2D frame?
The concept of ‘identity’ is central – the cultural, historical, ecological and industrial factors shaping identities of people and places and the ways in which the two interact. Meanings of ‘landscape’ and the symbolic associations of places are multi-layered, changing and often manipulated in attempts to shape power relationships between people and groups of people and peoples’ control over and use of ‘nature’ and other resources. Not least in this manipulation (or communication??) are my own assumptions and role in perpetuating or challenging power - my own continual self-questioning of my own identity/ies and assumptions and power/desire (or lack of it) to manipulate and change things.