I’ve restated the obvious a few times on this blog. Nature is more powerful than we are. Does anyone still need convincing? Probably, I’m afraid. I don’t.
A now more subtle case in point of course is erosion. Wind and water overpower the land and our human dreams of the conquest of nature. Like many nature photographers, I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to capture erosion, with mixed success. Last fall I was honored to have a number of my erosion images featured at the Aldrich Gallery, Whitin Mill in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. They are now working on creating an online platform for that exhibition.
The move to the creation of online exhibitions in the times of Covid is a most interesting one, saying something about our resilience. We can’t have real exhibitions, at least not quite yet, but we’ll see if we can come up with something else. It’s actually a very creative process, pushing me to move ahead by going back to the creation slide shows, just like the old days. Slide shows offer you an opportunity to expand the narrative to include sound, as well as more imagery than you’re likely to get in an exhibition. I often think about trying to create immersive experiences, without the excessive use of technology. Audio helps (so turn up the volume on your device to about 50%). I’ll leave it to you to be the judge. If you are on a mobile device and can’t see the thumbnail below, you can find the slide show here.
I’m grateful to have been included in “Earth Day 2020” hosted by Gallery Sitka. As mentioned in my previous post, this exhibition was to have opened this week, but things have changed, as we all know. Art continues however. This is a mixed media exhibition. I am a huge fan of photography been shown with other forms of visual art. Melissa Richards, the curator, has done a great job of curation. I particularly drawn to her use of color. You can find the online gallery here.
Earth Day rolls around again on April 22 and it is going to be a difficult one. Like nearly everyone in the world, we’re hunkered down and trying to stay healthy. It is so heart breaking to hear that so many are unable to achieve what was once such a given. And of course, it’s always the most vulnerable and the most disadvantaged who seem to be paying the price, along with those from health care to the grocery supply chain. I am reminded of lessons I’ve learned from a colleague, an environmental scientist, the put this into some kind of larger perspective. The point of environmentalism isn’t to save the planet. The planet will survive, albeit perhaps it will evolve. Nature is stronger than the human race. We need to save ourselves.
In earlier times, what seems like a thousand years, but was really just a month or two ago, I submitted some work for consideration for an Earth Day Exhibition, at Gallery Sitka. The juror is Melissa Richard, a mixed media artist and educator. I’m grateful to have been chosen to show in the exhibition, but now of course, the exhibition will be going online. I’ll pass the url along when I can. Thanks to Melissa and the folks at Gallery Sitka. I’ve mentioned this before, but the power of water is awesome (as in inducing a sense of awe, not as in being really really cool). Perhaps we should pay it more attention.
If you’re in the Boston area, I want to invite you to the opening of my exhibition, “Deindustrialization,” taking place Thursday evening, November 7 from 5 – 7 PM. The exhibition consists of twelve large scale portraits of textile mills from the Blackstone Valley region of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. There will be an artist talk shortly after 5, mingling, and I believe free food! The opening will take place on the campus of Babson College, in the Hollister Gallery. Directions are here.
I want to thank BabsonArts and Associate Director Danielle Krcmar for making this all possible. This work was sponsored in part through a sabbatical grant from Babson College, for which I’m also most grateful. The work was printed on metal, an amazing process, by the wonderful folks at Blazing Editions . Working with them and more specifically Juliette Pascale was a joy. The results were stunning.
On another note, this exhibition is really a bit less of a celebration and more of a remembrance. The industrial revolution in the U.S. and indeed around the world, a revolution that is still going on in many places, brought with it a tremendous upsurge in wealth. At the same time, it brought with it massive sacrifices on the part of those who did the work and the communities in which these mills were built.
The raw materials for the cotton mills prior to the U.S. Civil War were farmed by enslaved workers kidnapped from Africa. Even after the Civil War the combination of share cropping arrangements and terror enforced by organizations like the KKK imposed the most severe hardships on those involved. Working conditions in the mills, though not as bad as one would find in England at the time were extremely harsh. The environmental degradation that occurred because of the mill industrial waste and the repeated damming of the rivers of the Blackstone Valley is still with us today.
At the same time, mill employment helped to create, at least in part, a melting pot, bringing people together from much of the world, into what became in many places a real community. Some of those communities still exist today as well. The boom and bust phenomena, a phenomena which continues unabated, is ultimately a harsh developmental path for our society.
Greetings. For this in New England, I want to pass along an invitation to join us this coming weekend in Grafton, Massachusetts for the Small Stones Festival of the Arts (access the link for more information and directions). This represents a cooperative effort on the part of a number of area arts organizations as you can see.
I am grateful to the photography jurors (Nancy Burns, Scot Erb, Donna Dufault and Robert Ring) for choosing a number of my images for exhibit. They represent a fairly electic display, so we’ll see how that all works. I’ll be there on Friday night and again on Saturday afternoon.
Welcome to the environmental photography and sustainability blog of James M. Hunt. Chris, my wife, and I care deeply about our natural environment and in particular those places, beings and phenomena that may not get the attention that they deserve, in spite of their importance. Since the places we tend to frequent may receive a bit less attention, we're often engaged in a process of discovery ourselves. We'll let you know here something of what we learn along the way. Thanks for taking the time to join us.
All images on this site are copyright (c) James M. Hunt, 2010 through 2018 all rights are reserved. No use of any image posted here without written consent.
FINE ART PRINTING OF WESTBOROUGH
James is also the proprietor of Fine Art Printing of Westborough, a printing, scanning, and photo restoration business operating in Westborough, Massachusetts. You can see the link below. Inquiries are welcomed!