Despite the intense evolution of photography over the past two decades, no process seems to capture the depth and mystery of our natural world quite as well as the large format process. Through its lens and the rich nature of its chemical development, depths and tones are achieved that record the real objects that sit in front of the camera, while also transporting us to new realms. As an artist who has worked with large format photography throughout her career, Janelle Lynch employs this process beautifully in her series and photobook Another Way of Looking At Love.
It’s an interesting experience when man-made technology—in this case, a camera—guides us to reconnect with the pure and natural world. The book itself is in a participatory accordion-folded format. By folding and unfolding the multiple layers of dreamy images, the reader is transported into Lynch’s world—a tactile process of reconnecting with nature and its spiritual planes and possibilities. As we lose ourselves to a blurry encounter with Lynch’s natural elements, we absorb the photographer’s own relationship to nature, not only bringing us closer to the plants that she is photographing, but closer to each other as viewer, photographer, and ultimately human beings. Lynch explains: “We are hardwired for connection and our elemental sameness unites us and transcends our apparent differences. Our wellness and the well-being of the world depend on health connections to each other and to the earth.”
As climate change and the human relationship to nature becomes an increasingly important point of concern in photography, Lynch’s approach to questioning, healing and fostering our connection with nature is a quiet and poetic one in comparison to the countless images of melting glaciers and visceral manifestations of the state of our planet. The delicate book, which depicts the simultaneously gentle and resilient fauna—goldenrod, pine trees and barberry, to name a few—invites us to be still with images and focus on her large format renderings in a meditative state, so that we feel at one with nature in the moment.
Editor’s Note: Another Way of Looking at Love was announced as a shortlist selection for this year’s prestigious Prix Pictet Award. The shortlist features work by 12 artists from 8 countries on 4 continents. In making their selection, the independent jury, chaired by Sir David King, praised the outstanding quality of the portfolios submitted for the award. You can check out the other shortlist selections here.