A new body of work I just released has had some people asking questions. Some don't know what they are looking at. That's okay with me. Perhaps it could get boring if everything was so easily translated all the time. In a visual saturated world if a photograph can still make a viewer wonder, well that's good I think. One friend wrote the following when I sent out the first batch of E Promos : "I don't know quite what I'm looking at Michelle, but these are beautiful, captivating images."
So here's a little on what's it about.
Travertine Sinter is a photographic exploration of the landscapes in which the origins of life inhabit. It consists of a segment of work I produced during 2015 while living in the Greater Yellowstone, Wyoming. My interest in photographing there arises from the desire to investigate the last wild places and interpret their significance and power as untrammeled, unaltered states.
One of the few last remaining intact ecosystems, Yellowstone represents a catalogue of evolutionary history. At its center exists the worlds largest volcano caldera which manifests in a concentration of geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park. Around springs and mud pots under extreme heat, chemical processes combine to produce deposits of calcium carbonate in the form of travertine and sinter. These create the features seen in the photographs. The colours are produced by bacteria known as thermophiles that tolerate extreme temperatures and are thought to be some of the first organisms to exist. Thermal landscapes closely examined reveal features one might observe in a larger aerial view of the earth’s surface. As such they become mirrors of each other.
I guess the pull for me with this work was trying to see landscape a little differently to how I'd been seeing it. It allowed me to get closer and in it's own nature drew me in. I saw the larger landscape writ small and it focused me on the origins of everything. I think that's what inspired me about this work the most. I was also very excited about being in Yellowstone. I've travelled a lot yet I'd never seen anything quite like it.