Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program

Photography; Studio Arts

Project Advisor 1

Stephen Shore

Project Advisor 2

Hap Tivey

Abstract/Artist's Statement

When I was young, I would spend hours each day playing and exploring in the woods with my friends. In my teens, I started to rock climb and my explorations grew in scale. I have spent my whole life in the Northeast, but I have grown apathetic to the same scenery that I have lived with for 22 years. This numbness to the Northeast’s beauty left me feeling that I needed to flee this place. I had a fear of being trapped, of being stuck in one place forever. I would read of a wonderful new world that I could not visit or watch or an adventure that I could not have and I found that my desire to get away and experience these things for myself was only stronger. This paralysis seemed to have no resolve until I began creating my own new places rather than seeking to escape into someone else’s creation.

I started with doodles and sketches of real places that I wanted to go, but slowly these sketches grew into fantastical worlds that had little to no basis in reality. These sketches eventually grew into three dimensional models, and I realized that not only was I creating the places of my dreams but that I was being given the opportunity to explore the lands that I had created. I felt not as though I were playing God but rather that I was actively exploring new worlds and had found a way to escape the world that I had felt so trapped in.

While building these model landscapes, I grew to appreciate the fine details of the world around me. I realized that if I were to build models that were believable I would need to do research into geology, physics, biology, and other areas of science I never imagined I would want to explore. This research has lead me to appreciate the intricacies of the world I had so long sought to escape.

Each model I design is carefully considered before it is constructed. The construction is a fluid process in which I permit the models to shape themselves allowing for random occurrences to simulate a more natural evolution of each landscape. Though some may seem beyond belief, it is my intent to create places that could exist as well as places that are a bit past normal erring on the side of fantasy. While building each model, I think about the resulting photograph; however, I do not build exclusively for the camera. The resulting images are fantastical representations of a world of my own creating in which I am an explorer of my own creations. With my rediscovery of the spaces around me, I use the camera and invite the viewer to see a world through my eyes.

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