Firth MacMillan
Artist Statement
Questions about perception, how we see things, how we know things, were the catalyst for this work.  In most of these pieces we are not entirely certain what we are looking at, nor the vantage point from which we are looking; is this a tail-light or a rosebush, a painting or a photograph?  What cues do we rely on to help us decode our environment and why do we have a need to do so?
The blur of the camera helps to interpret the essence of a moment and a place by reducing complex phenomenon into color, form and light.  With the sculptural pieces the process of interpretation involves simplifying intricate elements into a basic circular shape.  Some of these shapes include details that reference an essential component of a natural form, the way the petals of a bellflower hang from the stem, for example.  Both processes are intended to bring attention to, or sharpen the act of looking.
This exhibition involves an untraditional use of materials.  Three-dimensional clay forms are more frequently used to reference ideas of containment or rituals of the body than image making. The photographic medium is pushed beyond its traditional purpose of replication, not to capture a past moment but rather to create an oddly unrecognizable new one.
The subject matter is the landscape – the manufactured, the urban, the natural and the rural; boundaries overlap and glimpses where these spaces intersect are revealed. These photographs and sculptural installations demonstrate our ability to adapt to our environment, manipulating and perceiving the world as it suits us.  Utilizing the power of chroma and scale this work invokes a physical experience, critiquing as well as offering, the pleasure of escape.