I am interested in the relationship between movement and place. We experience a landscape’s volume as we move within it - walking, swimming, crawling, biking, driving. The paths we make define our relationship to the land - trails, roads, contour lines, property lines. With this series of photographs I record brief acts of personal movement on film. Using long exposures and the light trail created by a handheld flashlight, I introduce the simple element of line into these photographic spaces.
Photography demonstrates a remarkable ability to flatten space. These lines serve as a reminder of the third dimension. They become a shadow of personal experience, drawn in response to the topography and features of the landscape. In several cases, lines are created or reinterpreted by a force beyond my control. For example, in Line Drawn By A Creek the flashlight was dropped into a flowing creek, allowing the moving water to determine the form of the line. When things work out, the landscape itself plays a role in the creation of the photograph.
Stuart Allen, 1997-1998 Artist in Bioregional Residence
copyright © 2000 Stuart Allen