My first morning in Iceland, I alternated between each of the seven windows of my studio apartment, craning my neck to look up the valley, down the fjord, up the mountain slopes and around all the other houses. It was 10am and the morning light maintained a dark deep blue. As the day carried on, the sun never broke the mountains, but circled around the peaks – gracing only the tops of the opposing ridges with direct light. I was told that the sun would only find the town again in February.
This series is an excerpt of my visual diary from January, 2015, my first month in Seydisfjördur, Iceland. I spent 28 consecutive days wandering on foot within the limits of the short daylight hours.
Four artists, all of whom were featured on this blog, came together last month in Portland, Oregon, to reflect on a show of their work, Women in the Landscape. Zach Krahmer made a video of the discussion at Newspace Center for Photography, which hosted the exhibit. Jessica Auer, Jennifer Colten, Lauren Henkin and Dawn Roe participated in the discussion, moderated by Paul Sutinen. The 83-minute video is here.
Using the camera as a tool for recording sites, my intention is create documents that can serve as a collection or archive of places, as well as question the ways in which we experience landscape.
For this project, I attempt to de-centralize the tourist’s gaze on the city by traveling along the perimeter of Montreal Island, photographing the shores while looking outwards. While I escape to the outer edges, towards the horizon, the built environment remains in view. I observe that shores of the island are part nature and part culture.
Akin to a pilgrim following an endless trajectory, I used the camera as way to engage in discovery and contemplation. Installed on all four walls of a gallery, these large-scale images place the viewer in a re-contextualized island, eventually simulating my own photographic experience.