This message will be in the program given out during the exhibit.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming to the first public exhibit of my work. I am privileged to have lived on Kauai for the past 34 years. In the last 2-3 years, I have put together this portfolio of photographs which started as the result of discovering (thanks to my mother) the art of rock stacking. Often referred to as “cairns,” rock stacking can be found in many civilizations around the world dating back many centuries. A little later on, I was made aware of an art movement known as Land Art - a kind of artistic revolt against the commercialization and perceived artificiality of art in the 1960’s and 70’s. British artist, Andy Goldsworthy, was probably most influential in bringing land art to a fine art level with several museum and gallery installations spanning the time of 4 decades. I was enthralled by his work and others. I was immediately aware of the potential Kauai had for such art which I would call “Aina Art”. However I was also aware that I would need to develop my own style in time with a unique vision for where I wanted to take it.
In this exhibit you will see my development as an artist from some earlier Andy Goldsworthy influenced pieces (which I call “studies”) maturing into my own concepts influenced by Hawaiian culture, history, and exploring how the Aina inspires aesthetic aspirations. You see a sampling of some series I am developing including the future subject of “Kama’aina Art” – people of the land through wet plate collodion photography. I don’t claim to be a Hawaiian authority or an innovator of land art. My only hope through the application of this wonderful art form is to bring attention to the Aina and our need to keep it pristine. I try to lead by example by returning all the elements in my land art pieces back to nature after I capture the photograph.
There are certain pieces in this collection marked “Goldsworthy study” in which 100% of any profits made during the exhibit and in the future will be donated to two organizations here on Kauai which are also committed to what I am trying to achieve through my art: The Surf Rider Foundation and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens are both non-profit organizations committed to preserving our eco-systems and bringing awareness to its residents and visitors alike. Also, during this exhibit, 10% of all other profits will be donated to the same causes.
A note about the photography: As an artist with a vision of what I want my pictures to convey, I will sometimes go beyond the normal post processing of RAW file touch ups and adjustments. My closely held work flow consists of methods for light control through the use of tonal masks, sharpening, and selective curves and level adjustments all in an effort to evoke a feeling of warm engagement from the viewer. I’m trying to achieve an ethereal magical glow similar to early American landscape painting… for I think Kauai is also magical. There is no digital manipulation of the actual sculptures, i.e. I don’t clone and stamp a rock to make it more than it is. This is why I often document my work on video so that there is no doubt that these rocks are actually balanced and the art is manually hand crafted. In regards to my landscape images, I usually don’t go out just to photograph them unless the light or location is something I haven’t seen before.
There is not enough space or time to explain everything that goes into each piece but I encourage you to read each art tag to learn a little more about the work. I invite you to follow me on my blog or Facebook page as I continue to hone my skills and vision as an artist.
Thank you again for coming and I am honored by your presence.