ARTIST STATEMENT

We have many souvenirs of the past, reminders of extinct species and disappearing forests on museum walls. We cherish postcards as tokens of lost landscapes and natural wonders. Yet we seem to have forgotten our role as chroniclers of nature and stewards of the land.

 

Wandering in wild and natural places, I think about sharing my visual observations as records that also tell stories. The visual record becomes a way of seeing, a mild contemplation that I am eager to share. Stories emerge that stir a deeper engagement with what lies beneath and near. Walking and photographing become forms of documenting our place in nature, our small findings that bring pleasure.

It takes time and is often a difficult journey to see a work of nature these days. Contemporary life mostly lacks connection with a past, which included extended walks in nature and immersions in the natural elements. We know there are ways of seeing nature without distractions that entail discipline and physically slowing down; we just need reminders. Perhaps going slow is a requirement for pleasure. My images are an encouragement to slow down, to wander and to observe.

“How long does it take to see something?
Looking might be the business of glancing at things long enough to take them in as information; seeing is the art of soaking them up, of letting them sink in, of feeling them.”

 
Rebecca Solnit, Slow Seeing  

In the act of lingering, perhaps even resting or doing nothing, the elements fully reveal themselves as do the wonders of nature. The invisible becomes visible and the quiet landscape comes alive.

Walking in nature, I am reminded of how hopeful it is. Landscape is as encouraging as we are, regenerating and reviving. I am also hopeful that we can live in several landscapes at once - the landscape of hope and memory and the landscape of immediate pleasure in an intimacy with nature.

 © 2019 Julia Champtaloup. All image rights reserved.

 @juliachamptaloup