Sense of Place

Sense of Place

What makes a place a place?  It is a human construct.  A place is not a place until we find it, describe it, name it, love it, hate it, exploit it, protect it, etc. But when do we really know a place?  This exhibition features four photographers who are sharing with us their artistic explorations of places and landscapes that are important to them. GALLERY 1/1 is pleased to be the first to exhibit these artists in Seattle.

David Emitt Adams – David knows the desert well.  He was born in Yuma, AZ and says “I have never known this landscape without the forgotten debris of urban sprawl. Today, the notion of land untouched by the hand of man is so foreign it might as well be make-believe. The deserts of the West have special significance in the history of photography. By the time I became an adult I began to see that the Arizona desert was far different from the scenery once photographed by Timothy O’Sullivan in the 1860s. I have explored this landscape with an awareness of the photographers who have come before me, and this awareness has led me to pay close attention to the traces left behind by others.”  In his series Conversations with History he nods to the history of photography by using the wet-collodion process combined with found tin can “traces” from the desert to produce incredible objects of art.

Mary Pinto – Long-time resident of NYC and Bard College MFA grad, Mary Pinto, has witnessed first-hand the transition of her neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn and how they have changed.  One way to know a place is to be attuned the cultural reflections in the landscape. Whether it is her own garden or the greater city, Mary’s photogram collages feel like they both figuratively and literally reflect the evolving landscape around her.  She assembles hand cut chromogenic color photograms of natural elements and New York Times newspaper clippings into collages that give us some insight on the forces she see being exerted on places she loves.

Dan Shepherd - How does memory define a place? Gallery owner and artist, Dan Shepherd, has many memories of places he has traveled and hiked. In his mediation practice, he often “travels” to imaginary places that really are just combinations of reconstructed memories from real locations. Similar to the fleeting nature of memories, blue print (diazotype) paper is non-archival and fades over time.  The ephemeral nature of this medium and its alternative photographc process piqued Dan’s interest and led to his Terra Nova series of slowing disappearing diazotype prints that are themselves a contemplative meditation on memory and place. 

Robert Alexander Williams - The great novelist, poet and defender of the natural world, Wendell Berry, called himself a “placed” person. His home is Kentucky where his family has lived for generations.  He has famously said, “ If you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know who you are.”  The ethereal ambrotype glass prints by Robert Alexander Willams could not have been made by a person who was not also “placed.” Bob lives in rural Virginia in the shadow of Jump Mountain and by his own admission he seldom wanders farther than a few hundred acres beyond his front door.  Bob “knows” where he is and his photography give you a true emotional sense of his place.

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