As I start to draft my Critical Review of Practice for the Final Major Project I felt the need to remind myself of what I have previously called my Statement of Intent which later morphed into my Artist’s Statement for my recent Exhibition at An Crubh.  Over the period of the MA, I have doubted whether my intent has been clear enough to those viewing my work.  However, those visiting my Exhibition reassured me that the Skye I was seeking to capture did indeed exist and, that they recognised it in my photography.  I intend to use a revised version of this statement to open my Critical Review so I thought it was time to post this latest version on my Critical Research Journal.

Reeds 18 – Alison Price, July 2019

 

In Search of the Ephemeral Hiddenness of Skye

 “The soul never thinks without a picture.” (Aristotle)

Focusing on detailed aspects of nature and spending time alone in the landscape allows me to reflect on my own inner life: the hurt and fracture – confronting the chaos of death and destruction during my time as a police photographer; the remnants and vulnerability of my youth and the solitude of adulthood when parents are gone. I use aspects of the natural world as metaphors for my feelings and emotions and use light and shade, luminosity and depth, shape and structure as a means of revealing the Skye that most visitors rarely see and locals often fail to notice.

My work is informed by philosophers such as Jose Ortega y Gasset, Harman, Meillassoux and Heidegger and influenced by painters including J M W Turner and Claude Monet. Photographic influencers include Fay Godwin, Ori Gersht, Iain Serjeant and Awioska van der Molen.

I am driven by a search for the ephemeral hiddenness of the Isle of Skye, those fleeting, transitory moments, and my photography seeks to capture that essence, rather than a simple visual and literal representation. I am not looking for the sublime and romantic depictions of the Island so many photographers produce but, a reflection of my personal experience of this beautiful part of north-west Scotland.

Looking through the lens of my experience I see the sea, lochs, mountains and moors – these are Skye’s sensible properties.   It is not these I am seeking but those that transcend individual experience – the ‘otherness’ of its geography, the vulnerability of its ecology and its ephemeral hiddenness. I am searching for those passing moments, glimpses, transitory states when Skye reveals itself to me: its mystery, fragility and resilience – its essence. However, notwithstanding the various influences upon me, I seek to exploit the aesthetic voice of the camera by realising its fullest potential to capture what I would describe as the ‘eternal moment. In my view, unlike any other art form, the camera has the ability to translate, recognise and record the eternal moment. That is why I make my images in camera and do not subsequently seek to transform or idealise the reality of that moment through post-processing.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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