elaine blatt



galleries / exhibitions artist's statement

photographs by elaine blatt

artist statement

For one of my last exhibits, I published a book of photographs of the Gay Pride Parades in Paris and London. Since then I have photographed in two adventurous locations. In December of 2004, I traveled to Antarctica by cruising from the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina. Getting to Antarctica involves traversing the Drake Passage around Cape Horn,, through some of the roughest waters in the ocean.. However, once through it you find a land that few people have visited. Cathedral- sized icebergs of majestic blue, playful penguins and, in the sky, huge wandering albatrosses . The penguins carefully build their nests of rocks to sit and hatch their eggs on.. They squawk noisily if one comes too close to their young fluffy babies.

In July of 2005 and 2006, I took more photographs of wildlife in the game reserves of South Africa and the Deserts of Namibia. Watching a pride of lions with their cubs drinking just after feasting on a giraffe kill. is quite a unique sight. Cruising around in a Land Rover with experienced guides, I was able to capture intimate images from close range. Lions, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, rhinos and giraffes.. But I specialized in members of the cat family. The most elusive leopards and cheetahs were my favorites Because of environmental issues, these two worlds of animals, could become less accessible and perhaps disappear.

In the southwest corner of Africa, which is so remote that it takes three plane changes to get to it, the landscape changes dramatically to a sea of red dunes, and sand in the Namib Desert. It is the oldest desert on the planet that is ever changing as it runs along the entire Atlantic coastline. Namibia is known for its vast open landscapes, endless blue skies, sunny weather and tranquil starry nights. Namibia has been called "the land that God made in anger", and Sossusvlei is one such place where someone may go search for their soul. My goal is to capture these worlds in all their splendor before they may vanish.

All of these disparate images have a cohesive theme for me. The worlds of Antarctica and Africa are filled with visible reminders of our contemporary problems; pollutants, poaching, global warming, to name a few, and some of these photographs may not be available in the future. Perhaps that is why the artist Christo always limits his exhibitions to two weeks. He realizes how ephemeral these worlds are. If you want to see and record these remote places one must travel both at a circumscribed time and place, often with difficulty. But truly with a sense of wonder.

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