Nude in the Landscape

Artist’s Statement: The Nude in the Landscape

“The Nude in the Landscape series is a body of work that frames the human figure in the natural environment of the Pacific Northwest, from its beaches and shorelines, to its rivers and streams, forests and mountainsides, encompassing every season, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

The black and white photographs juxtapose the delicacy and fragility of the female form against the scale and rugged grandeur of the landscape, contrasting the textures and tones between those two elements, and examining the relationship between the viewer and the subject.

The women portrayed in the series reflect a diverse range of ages, body types and ethnicities. Like the Landscape, the subjects illustrate the seasons in a woman’s life, Maiden, Mother and Crone.

Within the Nude in the Landscape oeuvre, three main themes or threads have emerged. Some of the images of the subjects are sculptural, others are unobserved, emotionally intimate portraits, and in many cases, the body seems to coalesce and merge with the landscape, making it difficult to determine where one element begins and the other ends.

None of the subjects in the series makes eye contact with the viewer. And many of the photos have an air of isolation about them.

Regardless of the thread that the subjects reflect in the tapestry that forms the series, there is an air of mystery to the subjects that is to me, as a man and the image maker, inherently feminine.

The subjects are both unknowable to me and unattainable. The image that I make is but a fleeting impression of what was reflected to me for the briefest of moments. A tiny instant, a fraction of time, is frozen and then, quickly, fleetingly, gone.

The Nude in the Landscape series is in part my desire, my wanting to illuminate and celebrate, the untamed, wild aspect of a woman’s spirit, her character and nature.

Too much of modern life and modern culture and modern religion wants to sublimate, moderate and yes, ‘tame’ those very qualities in a woman that I think are essential to her true self.

Women are strong, fierce and indomitable.

Shooting nudes in the landscape hopefully allows me to record (for I could never truly ‘capture’ a wild woman) some aspects that that wild feminine spirit. Unfettered by clothes, rags and remnants of the ‘civilizing’ symbols and forces of modernity.

For many of my subjects, shedding their clothes is like shedding their shackles. Nudity is a kind of freedom from oppressive conformity.