Two years ago, when the light was too bright to make landscape images, I pointed my camera down at an undistinguished area of the ground that captured my eye. It was not in any way a scenic area. It was small and it was somewhere easily overlooked, but to me it was a unique image that reflected my training as a painter and my love of the distinct qualities that a camera is able to record.
I have been making these images of the ground ever since, un-cropped and subject un-manipulated by me. I take them in disparate places: I find subjects in the flattened leaves of parking lots, in the tiny plants that live on beach mist, in the parched tilled cornfields near where I live in Rochester, NY. They are always taken looking down, always of small places, always to me abstract and evocative. These three are a selection from a group of images taken after days of torrential rain on the red clay in Georgia.
— Lauren R. Howe, Rochester, New York, USA
Originally from New Jersey, I moved to Montana in 2010 to heal the wounds that are created by living in the most densely populated state and being so isolated from nature. In Montana I feel the land differently each day and record it as I feel it.
— Lauren Grabelle, Bigfork, Montana, USA
My work deals with the psychological experience of transition, a particular phase when our parameters of perception change; we suddenly don’t perceive ourselves, our environment or our life the way we used to. We undergo what could be called a gestalt change. That transitional phase feels like being in a place we know but can’t quite identify.
Living in a hyperreal world that mutates at an exponential speed, we multiply experiences that propel us into that mental place where the reality we knew is not the one we sense any longer. We repeatedly get that feeling of disorientation, dissonance and false reassurance, as we try to adjust to a post-modern society marked by the implosion of the boundaries between the image and its referent, appearance and reality. We have been introduced to a new stage of abstraction, a dematerialization of the world in which images and signs take on a life of their own and cause a shift in the human notion of the real.
The loss of concrete connections to the objects of our senses creates a void within us, and unleashes a flow of new and elusive perceptions. Giving them the visual characteristics of a landscape is my way to explore them. Echoing our partly simulated environments, I blend the real and the fabricated, creating images whose verisimilitude prompts the viewer to question the nature of both their medium and their content.
— Lauren Marsolier, Los Angeles, California, USA
One of the issues I struggle with in my life is being open. I think it stems from a fear of being judged, that in knowing the real me, I will be found lacking in some capacity and abandoned. It’s something I’ve tried to work through, a lack of faith in anything that would endure.
It is one of the reasons I wanted to become an architect. I thought that in imagining these built forms, I was creating something that would remain, something I could construct that would stand long after I was gone. It is also the reason why I’m so drawn to photographing the natural world, especially near urban areas.
Repeatedly, the subjects that I find engaging are the ones that survive in an environment meant to exterminate as a way to answer the questions I continually grapple with: What is permanent? Will anything last?
I became obsessed with this lone tree’s form and photographed it more intensely than any subject I have ever focused on. It was alone, with its scars unclothed, threatened by vines, but still standing. I was moved by its quiet beauty and strength, within it a humble model of perseverance and survival.
— Lauren Henkin