This is Nowhere by Dawn Roe

Issue 29

“I hate all details of the individual life. But I am fixed here to listen. An immense pressure is on me. I cannot move without dislodging the weight of centuries.” – Virginia Woolf, The Waves

My work is concerned with the associations that occur when we encounter sites or scenes that reference our experience of space and place. The poignancy of present moments is fleeting, and the resonance of immediate experience fades quickly. This recognition leads me to question how particular types of imagery prompt sensations from our past and conjure speculation of our futures. A prolonged preoccupation with the relationship between perception and memory has led me to carefully consider how the time-based mediums of film, video and photography can influence and shape our histories.

There is something uniquely troubling about the passing subtleties that a photograph can capture. Momentary instants become both particular and transitory. Whether the viewer encounters a scene as static, dynamic, or a combination of both, impacts the viewing experience and suggests a particular response. Influenced by phenomenological distinctions between the still and moving image, my recent projects combine singular and multi-panel photographs that slowly reveal the evocative charge of sites that are at once recognizable and foreign. These works emphasize the necessary duration of present experience and ask the viewer to repeatedly consider their perceptive response to visual phenomena in ambiguous and often indefinable spaces by presenting similar or identical imagery in sequence or series.

In terms of subject matter, I always look first to the common and the everyday. Often this includes familiar interior spaces and, more recently, the surrounding landscape. I have no particular affinity to nature, and do not value organic substance over artificial, or imagined. Rather, I am interested in the ephemeral qualities that these materials share with personal processes of recollection and recognition. The slow shifts of the natural world mimic the ever-accumulating matter of our own minds. Our response to both can be simultaneously strange and familiar.

These photographs comprise a selection from the following two series: This Is Nowhere (2009 - 2011) The Tree Alone (2010 - Present)

Dawn Roe divides her time between Asheville, NC and Winter Park, FL where she is Assistant Professor of Art at Rollins College
To view more of Dawn's work, please visit her website

  This Is Nowhere, #1 

This Is Nowhere, #1 

  The Tree Alone, Bare (Part I and II) 

The Tree Alone, Bare (Part I and II) 

  This Is Nowhere, #14 

This Is Nowhere, #14 

  This Is Nowhere, #7 

This Is Nowhere, #7 

  This Is Nowhere, #6 

This Is Nowhere, #6 

  This Is Nowhere, #13 

This Is Nowhere, #13 

  This Is Nowhere, #8 

This Is Nowhere, #8 

  The Tree Alone, Blue Leaves 

The Tree Alone, Blue Leaves 

  This Is Nowhere, #11 

This Is Nowhere, #11 

  This Is Nowhere, #9 

This Is Nowhere, #9 

  This Is Nowhere, #2 

This Is Nowhere, #2 

  The Tree Alone, Kudzu (Part II and III) 

The Tree Alone, Kudzu (Part II and III) 

  This Is Nowhere, #15 

This Is Nowhere, #15 

  This Is Nowhere, #3 

This Is Nowhere, #3 

  The Tree Alone, Black Ivy (Part II and III) 

The Tree Alone, Black Ivy (Part II and III) 

  The Tree Alone, Vine 

The Tree Alone, Vine 

  This Is Nowhere, #12 

This Is Nowhere, #12 

  This Is Nowhere, #10 

This Is Nowhere, #10 

  The Tree Alone, Branch 

The Tree Alone, Branch