09 Aug Images of the West: Surrounded by Beauty
We are surrounded by beauty. It’s everywhere in our world — a constant reminder of the complexity and power of the incredible place we call home.
Beauty may be as fleeting and indescribable as the moment a rainbow wavers from here to not here. Other times, scenes unfold before us with incomprehensible drama and force.Sometimes beauty seems singular and certain. But even the apparent timelessness of a granite peak changes every moment, with every season and the passing of each millennium. The timescale is at once human, but also entirely beyond our sense of perception.
Memories are an inadequate substitute for the experience of beauty. And so I seek these experiences again and again, pursuing the organizing principles and ephemeral beauty deeply encoded in the natural world. I look for the edges and the intersections between permanence and impermanence, between order and discord, between the mundane and the sublime.
These thematic ridges split figure and ground, positive and negative space, and forge a natural tension between what is tangible and what is beyond. The ridge is akin to the touching of polar emotions, the intricate line between earth and sky.
These distinct relationships are often discovered in the natural world, but I’m also compelled to arrange elements myself to create still lifes. Installations of found objects offer a directed and purposeful expression of these contextual ideas. A story unfolds through the compositions, and there’s an emergent beauty that I could not express by simply responding to the landscape in front of me.
At first glance, many of these may not look like photographs. Often, I use my hands in the printing process, aligning a vision with the physical presentation. The final works range widely, from delicately diminutive objects to expansive and large-scale metaphors, and from contemporary experimentation to traditional, historic processes. These are often delivered as mixed media, suspended images over gold, or in classic, museum-quality gelatin silver and platinum printing.
It is my honor to share these images that are rooted in the moments of the world around us, that make us stop and see more deeply, with more awareness, and beyond the surface of our first impression.
These photographic works are from Audrey Hall’s latest book, Arête, a special edition volume available exclusively from her studio; email@example.com.