The Landscapes in this Series are Very Haunting
ElblocDeltoniGuida - The landscapes in this series are very haunting, and it seems that being in the woods at night became a recurring theme in this work. So much of being a kid and going into the woods after dark is about surrendering to your own fears and seeking out the mysterious and unknown. I can only assume this work is a little about recreating your past while also exploring your present relationship to this space and your own immediate family… what is it that makes these themes so important to you and your work?
When I was a kid, we used to camp in a cabin at the end of Gray’s Point about 1/2 mile away from the main farmhouse. At the time, the farmhouse was the residence of my grandparents, so my parents and I would kind of rough it at the Van Wyke cabin all summer with no electricity or running water. It was amazing and something I wish my kids could experience. Sometimes we would visit my grandparents for dinner and walk back to the cabin late at night. Often it was so dark that you could only see a few feet in front of you with a flashlight. My father would sometimes turn off the flashlight to freak us out. It was isolating and caused immediate panic, but at the same time you were in awe of the stars in the night sky, which gave you a sublime sense of union with the grand expanse of the universe. My father would joke that a “real man” could walk from the farmhouse to the end of the point without a flashlight. Well, when I was a teenager I took the challenge. It was a hike I will never forget and has inspired much of the series in regards to balancing themes of isolation, mystery, wonder, the miraculous, and terror. In my opinion, everyone needs to face a symbolic darkness and/or pilgrimage in their life that tests their mental and physical boundaries in order to face a part of themselves that has no choice but to meet the unknown, the unexpected. This is how one learns to expose their perceived limitations and find the courage to overcome them. You either hide in the dark or learn to see and become part of it. This is an ancient symbolic space of absence found in many mythological journeys like Buddha’s Bodhi Tree, Christ’s Desert, Luke Skywalker’s time on Dagobah, and Crusoe’s island. As a photographer, the night poses all kinds of challenges as does an artist facing the complexity of himself, his family and their history. (riaucitizen.com)