Shannon O’Neill-Creighton / Senior Fellow 2020-2021
My artwork is rooted in relationship between land and people, mapping a felt-sense of belonging and intimacy with personal landscapes. As Lucy Lippard writes, “If landscape is a way of seeing, there are potentially as many landscapes as individual ways of seeing…” As a queer photographer positioned in the patriarchal, white canon of landscape photography I intend to queer the landscape, bringing forth the subtle, unseen, unusual, and underrepresented; subverting the normative and evolving our sight.
Through my art I ask the questions: How does the social-geography and history of place lend itself to intimacy with our surroundings? How do ours and others’ personal freedoms – or lack thereof – literally and figuratively change the land?
Over the years, I’ve found that slowing down my process is essential for patient observation and imperative to the tracing the feeling I long to evoke in my art. In a digital era, the lack of tangibility and materiality emphasizes efficiency and limitless possibility.
Returning to the origins of photography, my artistic approach thrives through the constraints of hand-made practices of analog photography and printmaking. My practice involves medium and large format photography and tricolor gum-printing – a process of making color photographs by hand. The way I am forced to slow down with the analog nature of these practices tells a story that places value on the handmade, inherently subject to the constraints of nature and therefore imbued with feeling and spirit.