This essay is from the exhibition catalogue,
"il San Gottardo", 1997 (ISBN 88 86455 08 9). With 7
landscape photographs and 6 installation rock frames: from the
St. Gottard Mountain for Galleria Gottardo, Lugano, Switzerland,
on the theme of the "heart".
I first visited the San Gottardo Mountain during
April, 1997. With the mountain passes closed by frequent deposits
of snow and low cloud I became interested in the interaction between
the mountain and it's changing weather.
A fundamental aspect of landscape is the sense
of power it can symbolise and evoke. Images of land, water and
sky can become metaphors which reflect our emotional and spiritual
states. But the landscape can also represent power in terms of
land ownership and material wealth. It is this dual and often
ambiguous representation of the metaphysical and the material
in the landscape that underlies my photographic work. My work
is also about observing the social transformations on the landscape
and the way in which the mountain is utilised by people.
Apart from making panoramic views which document
various aspects of the mountain environment I also wanted to illustrate
small details of the mountain's surface. I decided to collect
and show fragments from the mountain - fragments of it's rock.
These samples of stone are not only physical parts of the mountain
but become symbols of the mountain. The physical reality of the
rock removed from it's original context (and placed along side
photographs of a landscape where the rocks originated) can give
us a detachment where we can reflect on the material and the metaphysical
- at the same time this juxtaposition can play with our concepts
of what is illusion and what is reality.
© John Davies June 1997
A numbered edition of 6 - 50x40cm (20x16in) prints are
available contact galleries
Images may not be reproduced in any form
or by any means without the permission of John Davies
Photo and material Copyright © John Davies 1976-2011