Photography; Inkjet Print, 2011
From the earliest days of my landscape photographic practice I have pursued the intangible. Though I was imaging the “real” world, I was actually attempting to make visible the incorporeal essence of a landscape. I knew there was some thing well below the surface of objects, an “energetic space” that we resonate with. This effect felt when experiencing landscape has been described as “the sublime.” Yet to define the complex emotive states experienced when in a landscape as “awe, wonder and fear” feels insufficient.
When in a landscape we can certainly experience the sublime. We can also be subject to a host of memories and dream-states, flashes of personal stories and connections to others’. Why is this so? How is it possible that walking on the lip of a glacier can generate memories, dreams and feelings of connection to something greater than oneself? When experiencing landscapes we can be drawn into peculiar emotive and spiritual states because we are resonating with this energetic space. This space is the elemental web which links land to us and us to each other.
I believe this deep elemental linkage is of primal origin. Our bodies are composed of the “stuff” of landscapes. Upon our deaths we revert to earth, our most rudimentary form. Is it therefore surprising that we can experience profound moments when in a landscape?
This sensitivity when cultivated enables an “emotive state of being” where boundaries dissolve and we are drawn outside of our normal preoccupations. We can find ourselves overwhelmed by feelings of our connectedness. When in land we are resonating at the level of DNA, inextricably entwined, with the land and other people, at our foundations.
My pursuit of this resonating energetic space has continued for 20+ years. As I image, I want to strip away distractions that exist even within the photograph itself, distractions that prevent an emotive experience of this space. To this end my photographs have become less about the material world and clear, representational images. As the “sharp” and “easily understood” landscape blurs a new world of light, energy and emotion comes into view.
Landscape is often seen metaphorically. We project meaning into that which lay around us. It is our habit to tease anthropocentric meaning from land; we reshape what we see in our own image, for our own ends. This is common when humans are uncritically considered the pinnacle of evolution. This approach has resulted in self-serving actions perpetrated against a seemingly silent earth, justifying any manner of action.
If we are to understand our relationship to the landscape we must look past metaphor to the notion of the landscape as “full embodiment”. In other words, the land does not just contain metaphor; it fully embodies the corporeal essence of life. It is when we learn to be sensitive to this “actuality of life” that we become aware of how profound our connection with this earth and to each other truly is.
The landscape is not simply a context for our conceits but rather a pre-existing entity intricately woven with our bodies and our histories. By photographing the incorporeal essence of land, I hope to move all of us to reconsider the nature of relationship with the earth and with each other.
Photography; Inkjet Print, 2011
Prices in Canadian dollars. No Handling fees. Shipping is additional.
These editions are printed with archival pigment inks on a satin Photographic paper. The ink and paper combination have a display permanence rating of 200+ years.
Print Size: We never change the aspect ratio or crop the original image. Each image is sized to maximally fill the selected dimension. All of our prints have a minimum border of a 1/4 of an inch to allow for framing.
All our editions are supervised by the artist and are accompanied by a signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. Our prints are made with the greatest attention to quality and a concern for permanence. (Learn more about Print Permanence in the FAQ.)
b. Canada, 1966
Wayne Dunkley is a varied media artist working in photo imaging, writing, and internet-based projects. He sees his practice as facilitating spaces (real, imagined and virtual) that combine contemplation and wonder with public engagement.
Wayne graduated in photography from Ryerson University, Toronto and received a Masters of Theology from The Toronto Schools of Theology, University of Toronto. Wayne continues to practice and live in Toronto, Ontario Canada.