Sunday, January 02, 2011

Landscapes in Scotland/Israel/Egypt/Jordan/Cyprus

The essential idea I communicate with my work is an emotion consisting of two sides. On one side it is the human desire of being a part of a natural environment, on the other side it is the feeling of being out of context in the same environment.

These feelings develop while being in certain environments. I have made a body of images that witness natural landscapes and the perplexing questions raised on the emotional attachment to these environments. It is the transition between the personal gaze of a landscape and the documentation of landscape that interests me. I ask myself questions about this environment such as:

Is this a natural environment or is it constructed environment? When is a place a natural environment? What is nature?

I do not intend to give a certain answer to questions about what could be natural and what could be constructed in this space. These questions lye unanswered. Instead of a clear topologic documentation of these environments I represent the rural spaces as places the viewer could imagine him/her-self stepping into. Place inspired by my own personal gaze.

At first I would like to look at my subject through a personal view in order to make it relevant for a wider public. Traces that lead me to photograph these rural environments often have a relation to my family history and the variation of places that my family originated from. Inspired by a family tree with the family name Macbean I started my research in Scotland. Motivated by family research and feelings that appear while studying old documents, I travelled through the Scottish natural parks and woods.

Another rural perspective is created in Israel and the countries that are close to this country and have a border in between them. Again I was inspired by the fact that my grandfather once was a spy in Palestine during the period of occupation by the British army with the operation called the Palestine Mandate. I travelled through the different dry looking environments that characterise the landscape of Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
During the documentation I had in mind the fact that my grandfather could have been active in this area about 50 years ago.

I aim to show different narratives within the photographic documentation of landscape and the natural aspects within the landscape. Altogether they make an unclear narrative. Suggesting a form of human presence.

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