Altered Horizons 2

Altered Horizons 2 Robin Botie of Ithaca, new York, photoshops a fabricated landscape from natural and unnatural articles that contain history.

 

When I first started concocting these landscapes, I photographed and rearranged only natural elements. Clouds, sand, rock, moon, trees, water…. But soon I began adding photos of not-so-natural things with intriguing textures that reflected the light in appealing ways. The sky in this scene is taken from the inside of a glass goblet I received as a wedding gift almost half a century ago. The glass reminded me of falling rain or tears, and looking through to the bottom where the stem of the glass is attached, I found an eclipsed sun. Over the sky I added a layer of wavy reflections of young trees from around my pond, turning them upside down to upright them, making them grow anew from a metal lattice grill. The grill panel was photographed years ago when I visited the Old Melbourne Jail, one of Australia’s oldest surviving structures. I wanted to capture something from the original building. How many prisoners had noticed that same grillwork on the wall near the hanging place, I wondered?

At the very bottom of the scene there is a shallow stretch of Cayuga Lake shoreline from a point in Ithaca’s Stewart Park where, decades ago, swans used to swim. The swans are history now. Everything here is history or has a history. Marrying these images together into a fabricated world is, for me, like holding the past, like bringing it back to life. If I were to give names to all my Altered Horizons, I would call this one ‘Resurrected’ since so many of the elements I’ve toyed with here were dragged up from the depths of my closets and files and memories— and given new life.

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