Artist's Statement

Home             Artist's Statement             Fine Art             Recent Work             Contact        

If we believe that the purpose of art is to transmit feelings or emotions (as thought by Leo Tolstoy) pursuing nature photography as a form of art is an interesting challenge. Wrinkled face of an old person can evoke far more feelings/emotions compared to wrinkled face of an animal. A tear drop on a child's face is unmistakable. It is easier to feel other child's pain as our own. Can we relate similarly to expressions shown by other life forms found in nature ? We simply don't understand and can't reciprocate to most of the expressions seen in the nature. So, if my work of nature photography as art has to be rooted in 'transmitting emotions' then I must admit I have not figured out how to portray natural history as art   which can effectively communicate feelings or emotions.

Further, just realistic representational portraits/landscapes seem to fall short of art in my mind. Yes, they can become a fine craft with beautiful management of details, tones etc in B&W but can they seed a thought that can grow in the minds of viewers? Aren't those beauties only skin deep? Can I leave somethings in my frames which are beyond obvious? This is an interesting challenge that I work with - how do I create subtle emotions using ordinary subjects in nature?

After a long and never ending journey in search of art, currently I am trying to find my ways through the basics - the arrangements of forms/shapes/details (or loss of it)/postures/light etc which are kind of relatable to our experiences in life. Subjects in the frames may just remain as muted pointers to those silent thoughts. Needless to say these forms and shapes have zero relevance to natural history of what was photographed. However, they might represent (in my mind at least) suppression, domination, losing space, past, future, unmet dreams or even just a new visual experience which might result in more questions than answers.

The definition/purpose of art has changed over a period of time from transmitting feelings to transmitting point of views. While the latter brought in more freedom, a point of view being the purpose art also lost its faint (probably needed) rough definition or boundary. With no definition or transmitting a point of view as the definition anything and everything qualifies to be a work of art. In my humble attempts I would love to remain somewhere in between the two.

Updated on 23 Sept 2016
My "artist's statement" above was written a few years ago. I think a there is a minor but a subtle change which I need to make now. I still want to make images which are emotionally touching. However I want to de-emphasize "want to make images" in the last sentence. The act of making images or images themselves are insignificant compared to the mystery of the Nature, of which we are part of. All that I can do is just wonder about it, may be for rest of the life?
- Ganesh H. Shankar.

Facebook page   Fine Art Nature Photography
Copyright © 1993-2016 Ganesh H. Shankar All rights reserved.


free counters