Sarah Rhodes | A Surrounded Beauty | Chapter 2
Huw Davies Gallery, PhotoAccess, Canberra
June 10 – July 10 2021
A Surrounded Beauty uses an expanded photographic practice to explore the emotional relationship between people and place, asserting that the environment is an integral part of who we are and that place and personhood are interconnected. The photographs examine whether the landscape pictured mirrors its person’s affective experience.
The works explore identity, isolation, precarity, atmosphere and attunement. Italian philosopher Tonino Griffero (2019) defines 'attunement as our ability to be affected by our surroundings and affect them in turn.'
I gravitate towards introverted subjects deeply connected to place, environment, and firm in their sense of identity. They are individuals who I perceive as attuned to their surroundings. Through emotional, physical or social isolation, an experience which resonates with me, I find them emanating a heightened sense of self as though woven into the fabric of the world they inhabit.
The body of work is set in Tasmania. The images raise questions about whether growing up on a geographical island amplifies connections with a place.
My intention with the photographs is to evoke an atmosphere (and a bridge of sorts) to convey my subject's feelings for 'place’. I want to show their experience of place rather than showing how they live. I am also interested in how these individuals are connected with each other. This connection is revealed through their affective experience of islandhood, contributing to a collective unconscious.
–– PhD Creative Arts, University of Tasmania (2019-2022)