Katherine Keates’ Landscape Illusions
Here at the League of Landscape Photographers we take a broad view of the landscape that includes and comments on the human presence and impact on the land, altered landscapes and ‘pure’ wilderness. But… sometimes the landscape is less about reality and more about our imaginations. Katherine Keates’s Landscape Illusions encourage us to ‘see’ the world for its possibilities and not for human-defined limitations.
Although there can be different and broad interpretations, landscape is a major theme in all forms of art. One of them is photography. Landscape photography is a means to represent the places in which we live and a way to portray what we see around us. A landscape is rarely defined by its size but rather the phenomenon or ecological mosaic that is presented for us to consider. The physical elements often include landforms such as mountains, hills, lakes, or the sea. They could also encompass vegetation, buildings, structures, or even, transitory elements like weather conditions. Bottom line, it represents how we see our space from many perspectives. It can be as broadly varied as forests, tundra, deserts, cities, farms, ruins and riverbeds. Emotionally, what makes a landscape image effective is how it resonates with us, conjures a memory or allows for a momentary escape.
As one who enjoys making landscape images, I am always on the lookout for the perfect scene…one that makes my heart sing. Many times, I have driven by a scene with no time or ability to stop only to have that image burned indelibly upon my mind with repeated regret.
But there is something more than the traditional landscape that we see with our eyes. It is the landscape that our mind can see when we least expect it. The interesting thing that has happened over the years is that I now see landscapes everywhere. This has led me to the exploration of landscape illusions, things that suggest landscape but are out of context. If you open your visual eye to the possibilities, magical landscapes can be conjured up out of something totally unexpected. The illusory landscapes in this series have been born from decaying, aging, manufactured, or miniature beginnings. If you allow it, something as simple as a fleeting brush of light on found glass can send your imaginary landscape visions soaring.