Solitude: Snow & Ice (2017)

January 2017 in the western Pacific Northwest brought unusual continental winter cold patterns and record levels of snow.  Some places, (like the Columbia Gorge, for example) were buried under volumes of snow unseen in any of our lifetimes.  The result throughout the region was a transformation of the landscape to an uncharacteristic, unfamiliar tapestry of snow and ice.  Beautiful, stark and alien, as though another planet.

Snow and ice bring with them a haunting quiet.  All but two of this series of 26 photographs were shot over the course of ten days in January 2017, when I set out on a postmodern passage of sorts to capture the rare occasion, following forgotten, desolate highways to remote locations.  This would become not only a tour of the surreal beauty of the snow, but a mind-travel expedition during which time I would experience a Great Solitude, which I call a renewing loneliness: a time during which it is much simpler to assess what is important, and what is not, in life.  

Loneliness is not the same thing as hopelessness.  This outing would therefore be an examination of self, selfless, during which time the outdoors would become the center of attention rather than myself.  After a couple days out, there came a slow, abstract mental conveyor belt of dreams, hope, sadness, happiness, depression, longing, desire, laughter, tears, fulfillment, and a vast montage of personal thoughts and memories that during this time had nowhere to go.  Being still in this discomfort brought a grand and introspective time-stoppage, which, as it worked out, showed me like other journeys such as this that by going to a place which is nowhere, I find myself very much somewhere.  The end of the journey takes me back to a home now fuller and far more meaningful than the one I left just 10 days before.

Shown among these resulting photographs are locations in the Columbia Gorge, Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, and Northern Nevada.  Prints are 20" x 30" and 21" x 21".