However, the interest for me in his work is his philosophical and aesthetic approach. Whilst Becker accepts that “Art should say something about the now,” he recognises that his images are derived from artistic ambition with an aesthetic rather than contextual priority. The article from Hartmann suggests that Becker’s work method is more phenomenological than conceptual and “the artist conveys his visual statements through vision alone and allows the viewer to read himself into the landscape.”
This short synopsis of Becker’s approach to his work and his relationship with his audience feels very similar to the way I approach my photography. As I have said before in my blogs my work is focused on the image-making process rather than the output and the audience in my personal journey on The Road to Elgol is firstly myself. Although, like Becker I hope that others might engage with and gain some understanding of my emotional connection with the landscape.
Becker’s work also has significant elements of repeat photography and it is changes over time in the landscape that fascinates him. I too, have a repeat photography element to my work and enjoy seeing and capturing changes in the landscape not just through seasonal change but also due to human engagement with this part of rural Skye. Becker has a strong eye for shape and texture that is something I try to capture, although he largely shoots in colour. A few of his images are below:
For me a quotation from Becker sums up what I am working towards in my photographic practice:
“I always ask myself what I essentially see, right there, right then. I try to understand what I see. I look for something that speaks by itself without captions. I try to let the landscape speak. I am not interested in things I have already seen. I try to look at something as though my eyes had opened for the first time and try to understand what I see.”
These are wise words and ones I will carry with me as I seek to document and record my thoughts, feelings and focus on The Road to Elgol.