Seeing the Salmon River Estuary

Monday, December 8, 2008

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My intrigue began essentially with a two dimensional observation. It was the depth and the subtlety of these paintings within the estuary sediments that drew me in. The challenge is to represent what I am seeing and maintain it's integrity, while figuring out why these formations feel so compelling in order to articulate sensible connections by hand.

A search for the most unique and dynamic forms and reigning those in with a camera was a good start. I'm striving to place emphasis on the motion and energies that are at work by gently guiding the image away from an immediately identifiable context.

Sharp sweeping gestures suspended like confident calligraphic assertions, diverse unfathomed landscapes waiting to be discovered, continuously washed away and renewed. Basically, the elements found within these specific microcosms and the visual parallels exisiting in vast spaces vary most significantly in the duration and subsequent accumulation of formation and erosion.

Another task is to nurture the merging of nature's gestures and my own, which differs from direct emulation. I believe the action can be more of a synthesis.

A means of digging deeper into this collaboration was to capture the negative space contained within the sculpted sands. For me, this is where the concentration of energy lies. The sand itself is the passive/reactive element in the equation. The key stages that make up the water cycle are all in action at the estuary and ultimately influence how the sediment coalesces. The motions of the water coursing outward from the drainage gather momentum from the shape of the surrounding landforms. Rain feeds the river current flowing out to sea and merges with ocean currents and tides, simultaneously; shifting pressures create winds that interact with accumulating water vapors generating powerful waves that weave their gesture within the relative energies. All of these forces vary in strength and direction but operate as a unified fluidity.

flowpattern casts/carvings

The main thing I hope to add to all of this is a unique perception and an ability to play. Through capturing a general form and elaborating on it's most unique qualities I am able to create a kind of simultaneity as I layer my observations of the ever changing place with my own turbulent subconscious inclinations. I can use this information to imagine the finest pathways when detailing the cast of the active negative space.

I can also choose to act on the image in order to intensify the energy and motion and/or manipulate the image using congruent patterns, which tend to be noticeably more isloated, and static, contained in the digital realm. These means of translation can open up a field of different meanings that I am constantly sorting through.

The difference between the hand manipulated object and digital layering of various viewpoints is pretty immense, it is the evolution that occurs when the ideas pass through different realms and media that keeps me compelled to experiment.

-Matthew Paul Bower



Monday, October 13, 2008

Investigating Flow and Ambiguous Scale