Terra Incognita, Intimate landscapes
Sometimes I find it’s just a matter of taking a moment to pause – to open my ears, to open my eyes. In doing so new insights can be revealed and new worlds are sometimes discovered. What was right before me all along suddenly comes into focus.
The title for this series of photographs stems from the designation that early European cartographers gave to those regions of the world that were known to exist, but which had not yet been explored. Such areas were labeled Terra Incognita – unknown land. The Earth has now been mapped many times over, but there remain seemingly wild and unexplored lands all around us that are frequently passed by unnoticed. This project documents my visits to some of these places.
I am fascinated by the way in which these images can, at the same moment, feel both very familiar and utterly foreign. I look at them and lose my sense of scale and time. There’s a quality of place that I can imagine inhabiting and yet I’m not sure where I am.
As I consider the images further I begin to reflect on my conceptions of the landscape and the interrelationship between the physical and biological forces that shape it. I wonder what it is that establishes within me a sense of place and contemplate the connections between my memories of the land and the images I make of it.
In reality, all the places in these unmanipulated photographs exist on the surfaces of trees. And while my body cannot physically explore them, the photographs provide fertile ground for my imagination — drawing me in and evoking stories as I explore this new terrain in my mind’s eye.
It is my hope that these photographs set an evocative scene for others as well, thereby allowing each person to create their own personal encounters within these intimate landscapes.
Gregory Albertson is a Boston based photographic artist whose work often twists our expectations of the familiar to encourage us to see life in fresh ways. Finding questions often more inspiring than answers, he endeavors to create work which elicits intriguing and provocative queries that encourage further investigation. By engaging the viewer and providing them the opportunity to make the images their own, he aims to create work that allows fresh revelations to emerge slowly over many encounters.
Albertson was born and raised in Montana and received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. After a substantial career in that field, he left architecture in 2013 to devote himself fulltime to his love of photography and the visual arts.
Albertson has studied with Keitaro Yoshioka, Karin Rosenthal, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Sue Anne Hodges, Blake Fitch, Meg Birnbaum, and others.
His work is also on exhibit this fall at the Danforth Art Museum in Framingham as part of the juried New England Photography Biennial.
Contact Gregory Albertson