Sean Bagshaw, photography
AGA/AHS Student Exhibit
Jackson Davis, video production
Nalani Theil, drawing & painting
Sean Bagshaw Double Falls
Sean Bagshaw Photography
Our March Exhibit features the spectacular photography of Sean Bagshaw. Having spent much of his adult life pursuing adventure in the wilderness and experiencing the world through travel, Sean expresses his passions through photography. A fan of traditional landscape and nature photography, Sean “derives great pleasure from venturing into the land and working with the raw materials of natural light, form, color and texture. The earth is my palette.”
"Sean Bagshaw is a widely recognized photographer who has made his mark by taking steps away from the more staid, traditional landscape scene. The torch is passing. The path blazed by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Elliot Porter is being followed by a new breed of photographer who isn't saddled with the same restrictions of film and darkroom. The very fundamentals of landscape photography are evolving. The first steps are being taken now."
-Outdoor Photographer Magazine
I have spent much of my adult life pursuing adventure in the wilderness and experiencing the world through travel. Even as a kid, climbing and backpacking in the Sierras and Cascades, and traveling to the West Indies and China instilled in me a passion for exploring the world not just as a spectator but as a participant. I began taking photographs about 15 years ago to document my adventures. With no formal photography education it took a while for me to realize that my camera was more than a tool for simply recording events. It has become my artist's tool of choice, helping me capture defining moments and hidden patterns in the world that normally fade in my memory after the initial experience. The more I learn to recognize these moments and patterns through the lens, the more I am able to produce images that are not merely documentary, but have the added qualities of being compelling to the mind and pleasing to the eye.
The seeds of my photography business began to germinate after several years of giving slide shows of expeditions to places like Denali, the Andes, Nepal and Tibet and enjoying that I could share my experiences with others through pictures. In 2001 I started Outdoor Exposure Photography so I could bring my images to a much broader audience. Since then my prints have been collected in private and commercial collections, and featured in art shows and galleries. They have also won national and international photography awards, been published in magazines, books and calendars and are used widely on the web.
In my photography I am aware that the human eye and the camera don’t see the world in the same way. Photographs are more limited than human sight in some ways, but can also see in other ways that we can not. Since its invention we have been conditioned to accept that photography portrays a “literal” record of the world. However, as an artist, I'm less interested in the literal and more interested in how I can communicate my own experience and personal artistic vision. Artists have always endeavored to express themselves, their experiences and their impressions through their medium. My challenge is to use the camera to do just that, to paint an artistic vision of the world as I see it. I strive to do it well enough that it resonates with others.
I am a fan of traditional landscape and nature photography. I derive great pleasure from venturing into the land and working with the raw materials of natural light, form, color and texture. The earth is my palette. But I also want to go beyond photography as a mere technical pursuit or objective record of natural history. In my photos I struggle to express something beyond a literal representation of the scene. Through the use of traditional photography techniques as well as careful digital developing I struggle to project my own human impressions, experiences and imagination. I hope that those who view my images are able to experience the same sense of adventure, mystery, drama, exploration and beauty that I do when I am out in the world.
Photography has entered a new and exciting era. Early on I embraced the changes digital technology brought to the art form. The digital age has allowed photographers to overcome many shortcomings and limitations of cameras that have frustrated them from the beginning. It is an exciting time to be a landscape artist. The new tools of photography enable me to be more creative and to express my experiences and vision more fully than ever before.
For those wondering if digital cameras have lowered the bar in photography, I can say my experience has been just the opposite. All the principles of light and composition continue to apply and proper camera technique is still essential. In fact, the way that I work with the camera in the field these days is more involved and creative than it ever was or could have been with film. I shoot thinking several steps ahead to how I will want to develop the image later on. In just a few seconds I might capture a range of frames utilizing different exposures, apertures and focal points in order to collect all the visual information in the scene I'll need to develop the finished piece. Learning how to think and work with so many variables while simultaneously pre-visualizing the future processing has been far more interesting and challenging than working within the confines of a single frame of film ever was. Far from being a shortcut and creativity killer, digital photography allows us to express a new and exciting vision, not unlike the way film photography did when it was introduced over a century ago.
In keeping with my goal to move beyond the traditional in landscape photography, I have created this entire show on a medium that isn't traditional to photography, namely canvas. All of the images in this show have been printed on gallery wrapped canvas the way a painting would. This gives them a quality very different from what we usually expect from photographs. It is also a more raw and simple presentation, allowing one to view the images without competition from frames or separated by a layer of glass.
Nalani Theil Forgotten Song
Ashland Gallery Association / Ashland high School Student Art Exhibit
Jackson Davis, video production
Nalani Theil, drawings and paintings
David Erhun, painting on plexiglass
In addition, we will participate in the annual AGA/AHS Student Art Exhibit this month. The Ashland Gallery Association supports young artists through an annual grant to Ashland High School to help with the costs of art materials. Each year, students are nominated by their instructors and display a variety of mediums including, woodwork, drawing, painting, sculpture, fiber arts and video production. This year, we will feature two talented student artists, Jackson Davis, video production, Nalani Theil, drawings & paintings and David Erhun, painting on plexiglass.