I look for the fine, distinguishing space where the stillness of stone becomes animated. My work helps place the viewer in the context of the tangles between ‘geologic time’ and ‘human time’ Chronos and Kairos.
Stone as a living entity may seem paradoxical, yet stone cycles through sedimentary/metamorphic/igneous changed states, continually reforming on molecular levels. Time appears to us as standing still from stone’s perspective, but it is very much alive. Massive walls and intimate close ups alike offer both a literal and metaphorical tableaux on which to ponder our relative powers, roles and contexts.
The images reflect my internal response to these worlds: My childhood connections decades ago swimming in the high school angsts echoing in a water-subsumed ‘reclaimed’ pit; my Verne-like curiosity at what lies hidden beneath our feet; my existential wonderings as I look at humankind’s entire history represented in but a fraction of the wall’s layers, which becomes a time machine into the past, and a catapult into wonderings about the future; the duality of my conservationist bent which fervently wants our natural environments to remain pristine against my pragmatism which understands stone as a most ancient building material, and without the literally explosive forces of man, the beauty and stories written on the quarry walls would likely remain hidden; my continuing surprise at the tenacity of life and the elements transforming the much harder rock; my awe about the incredible, infinite, chaotic, yet ordered metamorphoses whirling all around us, in intersecting orbits.
Chris Ogden is an artist, educator and expedition leader.
He makes creatively seen, carefully composed and superbly printed photographs to share his passions, and to ignite feelings and thoughts within his viewers.
Traversing the world, he delights in discovering, capturing and offering the essence of places and moments, employing both subtleness and surprise. He is captivated by cyclical changes and metamorphoses, particularly the evolving relationships between elemental and human forces across geological time, as shown through rock, sand, water, ice, fire, wind and the hand of man.
A key motivation and consistent theme across his body of work is helping his audiences (whether in a gallery or classroom) to see the extraordinary in what is often dismissed as ordinary. He seeks out compositions that simultaneously challenge and connect the viewer to larger concepts, sometimes obviously, sometimes not. He incorporates layers and metaphors via elements and energies that the viewer may not immediately perceive on a conscious level, but often feel subconsciously. Small details, points of view, contextual locations, histories and existential ponderings offer the beholder new discoveries as they experience photographs over time.
Chris’s prints can be found in museums, galleries, other arts venues, and in private and corporate collections.