The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.
Today’s featured artist: Kevin Arnold
Kevin Arnold – Tombstone Series
Located in the Yukon Territory of Canada’s far north, Tombstone Territorial Park is a truly prehistoric landscape. Its mountains, cliffs and valleys are largely unscathed by the omnipresent scars of industrial human activity. Places like this are few and far between, but they are important because they offer us a glimpse of what the earth might look like without us. They offer us a fresh perspective that might, if we are lucky, draw us away for a moment from our human-centric view of the world.
Each of the wild places that I have tried to capture seems to call for their own unique approach. In Tombstone, I found that the immensity of the landscape and its unique textures and colors needed to be captured from the above. I created this series out of the door of a small two-person fixed-wing aircraft with a high-resolution medium format camera. At first, the landscape of Tombstone feels barren and vast: dramatic cliff faces, sweeping mountainsides, and rocky river ways. But, as we look closer and closer, we realize that this is a landscape literally teaming with details that tell the story of how the land was – and is being – formed. I think we tend to see places like this mountain range as standing against test of time, immovable and unchanged. In reality, the patina of the earth is ever shifting with the whimsies of water and weather.
Bringing these massive landscapes to life required shooting in extreme resolution and also presenting the work in very large prints. Standing next to the prints, the viewer can see the pathways etched into the earth by the daily movements of animals, the folds and grooves left behind by constantly moving water, the piles of rock formed by eons of crumbing hillsides. Like all mountain ranges, water plays a key role in in forming the Tombstone landscape and I also wanted to capture this. Depending which side of the mountains you are on, the melt water from Tombstone peaks travels either down into the Yukon River towards the Bering Sea of the North Pacific, or into the great Mackenzie River into the Beaufort Sea and out to the Arctic Ocean. The waterways are like umbilical cords that literally connect this land to the rest of the earth.
I created this work in the fall when the spectrum of color blanketing the hills and valleys is truly spectacular. In post, I wanted to make sure that this color came across as both surreal – because in person it truly is – and completely natural at the same time. The way the blues and yellows play off each other in the images speaks to me deeply, providing a visual calm that I find soothing at the most basic level. My soul. After months of working with these images from capture to print, the thing I love the most about the work is that I am still finding new textures, patterns and details that surprise me. The complexity of this seemingly simple landscape continues to astound me. My hope is that the viewer will come away with a sense that there are still places on this earth that are powerful and mysterious on a scale that we have yet to fully comprehend.
To see more of this project, click here.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram
Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it. And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.