Shaun Wright Photography

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Artist Statement - 2015

This collection of images has been gathered together through editing. Each photograph is to be perceived as an individual, mimicking my process of discovery. I do not set out looking for anything specific, I look for photographs that present themselves to me and are most commonly created by removing the busyness of life in order to create a world inside the image. One of the early lures of photography was my inability to face an empty canvas. I use a method of working reductively from all that my eyes see, rather than constructing from inside my mind. Line and texture have become my medium. Playful, dancing lines of tree branches or cracks create the illusion of pen and ink with a trained hand. Texture is felt at a deeper emotional level, providing a physical, tactile connection to a smooth piece of paper coated in silver.

My process has refined itself with my switch to large format negatives. The details of texture, tonal separation, and individual control of development have resulted in negatives of much higher quality and allowed my compositional creativity to blossom as well as opening my possibilities of subject matter. Grounded industrial scenes, simple geometric compositions, and grand vistas were all material I stayed away from, but today I can mix them with complex natural patterns, formal compositions, and my 'small' landscapes due to the strength of this format. My simple form of the zone system for exposure and development realizes 'classic' silver prints, containing deep powerful blacks, rich grays, and shining highlights.

The State of Jefferson 2002

My Work reflects my beliefs on the conflicts between nature and humanity. The photographs attempt to create a dream-like vision of serenity and natural beauty, far from the realities of a rapidly developing modern society. This illusion is created by the cleanliness of the image: the simple composition, the black and white fiber paper, the white matting, and the wood frame.

Light adds to this fantasy and gives my images strength. The lighting on the trees, stones, ferns, and fog radiates from the images forever frozen in time. This time stop allows me to really examine how light shapes my perceptions of the world. This vision is not our waking world, it is one manipulated and crafted, first through an optical lens, and finally realized through silver, evoking a soft quality of luminescence.

I choose natural compositions in order to create a sense of well being, and to eliminate the subject itself. I do not "set-up" situations or create still-lives, I look for spatial and compositional relationships that have texture and value. It is a process of discovery rather than one of preconceived vision. The landscape provides endless natural compositions through which I can express my conservationist ideals, my love, and my fear for the natural world as it becomes increasingly unnatural.