As a human living in this time of shifting global conditions, I feel a deep concern about the darker side of the air we breathe. I’m mesmerized by the transcendent beauty of the sky. But, however seductive it may be, beauty can be toxic.
It was in 2011 while on residence in the Petrified Forest National Park that I began a series of works centered around the sky. During the August monsoon season, drawn to the dynamically shifting clouds, I decided to record their movement using a 4×5 view camera and colored filters. I captured the images by making multiple exposures on instant film at random intervals, which resulted in a series of unique and spontaneous photographic prints. Later, in 2022, I scanned a selection of the Petrified Forest images and printed the final works on aluminum using a dye sublimation process with an extreme high-gloss surface, adding a layer of reflection. The final pieces represent a hybrid of analog and digital processes.
The sky has maintained a continuing presence in my work. Collectively, these ongoing sky works are titled Backyard High, which reflects the reality that the air I breathe outside my door is shared by every living thing on the planet in combination with the feeling of a high when witnessing the power of nature. Other works in this ongoing series have combined skies gathered from a range of times and geographic locations collapsing both the space and time created within the image. The use of color filters to capture the sky creates a unique representational and abstract quality that lends the work an otherworldly quality.
Monsoon Sky No. 5 is available in a large scale format through Central and Grand, Portland, Oregon at https://centralandgrand.com/shop/naida-osline/