Here and Home
As a first foray into large format pinhole photography, this body of work is the result of several walks and excursions in rural regions of Quebec aswel as nature sanctuaries in The Netherlands.
A sense of discovery is eminent here, with solitary wanderings giving to views on new landscapes and a new look at familiar places.
Observations of the Beautiful and Sublime
The sheltered locations and expansive views of these West-Coast landscapes come to serve as methaphores in this body of work. They form the basis to explore notions of aesthetic phenomena such as the Beautiful and the Sublime.The concept of beauty here resonates with the german romanticist idea of harmony in a multiplicity of things. The Sublime maintains its contradictory sense in a range of meanings; from awe-inspiring and powerful to ungraspable and unimaginable.
The Bardo experience, originally referring to the period between one life and the next, can be interpreted as any transitional experience, any state that lies between two other states. "The present moment, the now, is a continual bardo, always suspended between the past and future" (Fremantle, Luminous Emptiness, 2001, p. 20).
The Buddhist concept of The Between is addressed in this series, along with a recurring investigation into Romantic values and ideas. In this context, the Self, or the identity as we observe it here through archival imagery and self portraiture, assesses connections between space, place, history and memory.
When the Cathedrals were Mountains
'When the Cathedrals Were Mountains' draws on some of the religious and cultural associations imbued in landscape linked to the concept of wilderness or wild nature.
In coherence with the idea of the ultimate wilderness experience being one of solitude, we witness no visible trace of human presence or intervention in these images. The proposition implied here is one reflecting a western tradition of nature and culture being antithetical.
Although the visual construct supports the idea of a preserved nature, the reality underlying the images is often not in accord since most locations have been altered due to human occupation and manipulation of the landscape.
The formless path.
No seeing, Nothing seen.
I undertook this journey as a means to deal with some difficult personal issues. When about to embark on the trek, I felt hesitant, nervous and almost afraid to abandon all comfort and to be solely reliant on myself and the sparse amount of gear I would be carrying.
As much as this trip was outward in the sense of scenery and real physical obstacles and adversi-ties, there was also an inherent inward path present, formless in a sense, on which realizations connect-ed with the Self would manifest, persist, alter and ultimately dissolve.
As the obstacles beset the teaching, when having recourse to only oneself, one learns quickly to circumvent dangerous territories and improvise upon experiencing contretemps, much in the way of dealing with and dispelling negative sentiments, doubt and self-blame.
Martin Schop is a photographer
working and living in Montréal