Set in Newfoundland’s outport communities, this piece explores physical and mental isolation, using abstract images of landscapes that build on metaphors of rock and island. A rock is hard and cold; an island is separated and distant.
Influenced by the works of Chiang Yee (“The Silent Traveller: a Chinese Artist in Lakeland“), Jungjin Lee (“Openings”), and Shinzo Maeda (“A Tree. A Blade of Grass”), the study uses a representational technique informed by traditional asian painting practices to develop an affective complement to the narrative of the imagery. Blank spaces and a high-key rendering, advance the sense of emptiness often experienced by those who are isolated. The subjectivity, inherent in the style, distances the viewer from the tangibility of straight photography to position their thoughts within themselves. The tendency of the Asian style to present juxtapositions, yin and yang, complements the dichotomies presented through the subject matter: physical and mental isolation; subjectivity and objectivity of photography; tangible and intangible. The representation of beauty is in opposition to the trension of isolation, for, as Robert Adams submitted (“Art Can Help”), beauty implies hope. If one is to over come these challenges, one solution is to look within.
The work is divided into three parts: physical separation; mental isolation; and looking within. Each of these are associated with a series of words that are expressed through images.