I always find it intriguing to see what people like to photograph, especially when traveling. Photography and travel seem to be inseparable. Photographs are proof of what you have seen. However, some of us are guilty (including myself) of taking thousands of pictures of churches, pasta dishes, and sunsets. Yet we never actually end up doing anything with these pictures. In fact, I just delete them except for maybe a few which eventually collect dust in my computer hard drive.
Uforge’s revolver artist of the month is Douglas Hodgkins. Although his photographs are from traveling, there is a completely different element to them. They form a narrative.
Could you elaborate on the title of your exhibition, "A Sense of Place"?
“A Sense of Place” is really intended to transcend the documentation of recent locations. It’s meant to communicate the story of these images, tying the human element into the particular environment, and creating a sense of belonging with each of these particular perspectives.
I understand that travel heavily influences your work. In your opinion, what is the most significant reason to travel?
To me, it’s really to gain a deep understanding of various environments, their people and particular moments, and to convey their stories to others in an enlightening, genuine and culturally compassionate way.
A decent portion of your work contains portraits. Do you have any story you want to share about an encounter with one of these individuals?
The most touching was the encounter with the tent children in Haiti. I was at a post-earthquake tent city shooting a make-shift medical facility on behalf of a great NGO. As I finished shooting one of the children watching took my hand and led me through a maze of paths to show me her family’s tent. There I met her siblings & mother, all six of whom were living in a single one-room tent. There we sat, taking images, sharing the results on the back of the camera, building a wonderful sense of understanding and a very deep appreciation of the amazing warmth & resiliency of the Haitian families in the face of such adversity. All without a word being said, given the language barrier at the time.
When visiting the exhibit, think of Doug’s photographs as the puzzle pieces to a story that will ultimately offer you a true sense of place, instead of solely visual. This is an inner journey not to be missed! On view through April 14.