RISING AND SINKING LANDS
People who live along coastlines are always conscious of the sea's tidal movements. They are sensitive not only to the constant ebb and flow of the tide but also to a kind of secret harmony between the sea and their lives. Tides are a symbol and an actual cause of enjoyment, prosperity and of life itself as well as being associated with gloom, regret, decay and death.
Along many coastlines, there existed the belief that a person could not be properly born unless the tide was in and at its highest point and that a person could not properly die unless the tide was out and at its lowest. Water, sky, environmental conditions and even land are obviously in constant change. Shape, colour, form and structure all alter in relation to our perspective and the passage of time.
Water and sky are particularly fascinating elements. They seem to have a defined surface but are transient and subject to being both reflective and transparent.
The margin where the land meets the sea is an odd temporal world; not truly occupied by either element. At the shoreline, man-made elements both impose, merge and are consumed and destroyed by the natural environment. These elements, obviously created, are structural and defined and yet are subject to the same effects as the natural environment and are ultimately as ephemeral and transient.
Not all Rising and Sinking Lands images are composites. Some are unaltered in post-production. These images are conventional in the traditional photographic sense. The singular images combine with the composite images to challenge our perception of reality and what is authentic. The images seem real although they are not actually possible. They have all the 'requirements and qualities' of representational imagery but also encapsulate the abstract and the imaginary.
It is hoped that the underlying strength of the work comes from its engagement with the recurring theme of place, time and the interconnected presence of creation and death. The works seeks to explore the conflict between what we see and what we know.
[colour archival inkjet print 600mm x 600mm]
© Paul Harrison/Tracey Fryer/LIMN 2011