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22-DEC-2006

OBSERVATIONS:

The term "observation" as defined by Merriam-Webster is “an act of recognizing and noting a fact or occurrence often involving measurement with instruments". As the definition of the term observation infers, the act of noting a fact often involves an instrument of measurement. The camera is my instrument of visual notation that supports my metaphorical thinking and insights while the Internet offers a framework to contain them.

The Web site Observations: conceptual writings and visuals™ is a site where I periodically publish these insights and is an alternative to the artist notebook with each entry being a conceptual sketch. The site could be considered a blog in terms of the Internet, containing insular thoughts versus daily drawn out discourses. They are short passages of inspiration that are often formed while hiking in nature. "Transformation" was inspired while hiking on an island off the coast of Maine and is supplemented with written word explaining the premise of the images.

My most complete series of photographs are from an island off the coast of Maine called Criehaven, documented during a three year period. I once mentioned to someone, that it wasn't until the seventh year of visiting this island that I felt close enough to the essence of itís personality to begin portraying it.

GALLERY:

In the Gallery, a photographic portrait of the island Criehaven is exhibited. Documenting a small island is similar to an artist drawing from the human form. The model is clearly defined by its surroundings and the task of the artist is to carefully observe a model’s relationship within these surroundings in order to properly define it. On an island you aren't swallowed by an expansive landscape as if in a desert but intimately surrounded by the sound of the earth's tidal pulses caressing the shoreline. The island is a small molecule of terra firma in the midst of an expansive ocean where the atmosphere is often laden with moisture, emboldening and saturating the colors of my photographs.

Many of my images from this island are devoid of human subject-matter with the exception of a few. But a majority of them such as "Six Boats"and "Westerly Light", provide a theartical setting that creates a curiosity about time beyond the moment the photo was shot.

Other images such as "Iron and Sulfur", "Tide Lines" and "Transformation", represent a maturity of the artist/subject-matter relationship, an analyses that reveals the life-source through it's geological elements and tidal processes. These images were shot during the last year of three, that represent a point where the model/artist barrier no longer exists and form becomes secondary to the study of it's elemental make-up.

NEW WORK:

My latest work is from a trip to Costa Rica. Although, I donít consider this collection a complete ďstudyĒ to the point achieved with my collection of images from Criehaven; they are beautiful photographs from a country which considers the environment and conservation very important to itís success. Costa Rica is a country that has not had a military since 1948, it has a literacy rate of 96% and 25% of itís land a national park. This is something every government can learn from in the violent world of today. With the earth experiencing a turning point towards possible environmental disaster in an unkept pace of industrial development in the third world, these observations in my perspective are depicting an idyllic worldly model which is my simple offering of hope.

Presently, a key challenge for me, is to depict our human relationship with the natural world.   I'm presently pursuing documentation of these interactions and will update my site and notify those who are interested by e-mail (johnshockey@artstudios.biz).

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