Artist's Statement

Linda Alterwitz

Constructed Photographs | 24” x 24”

Lost Ground explores disturbances and discordance in human relationships, and how people relate to the natural environment.

My intent in this series has been to explore and stimulate a dialogue regarding human thoughts, behaviors and decisions – and the consequences they can have on our relationship with the environment around us.

Lost Ground combines images of the natural world with visualizations of medical diagnostic data, and tools associated with wounds and healing. These materials are used to reference the human emotional responses of pain, loss and vulnerability; the damage and degradation of our planet; and the urgency with which we need to intervene to ensure our common survival.

To provide a representation of human thoughts and emotions, I utilized data output from electroencephalogram (EEG) testing used to analyze electrical activity of the human brain. The data was derived from file records of EEG testing of distressed brains as a visualization of the inconsistencies and aberrations of human thoughts and emotions. The EEG test data was printed directly onto cotton gauze material of the kind used to cover wounds. The gauze “veils” were hand sewn onto archival pigment prints utilizing surgical thread made from nylon monofilament, partially or completely covering the images beneath.

The imagery in Lost Ground (2017-2019) correlates directly to our current environmental crises. For this series I photographed landscapes that reveal places in the natural environment that have offered me a sense of personal sanctuary and which are now endangered. I then sutured gauze “veils” representing human thoughts and emotions onto archival pigment prints of the landscapes. Imposing the veils onto the landscapes referenced how we rely on our natural environment for sustenance and refuge, while paradoxically engaging in decisions and behaviors that are causing climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, air and water pollution, and depletion of essential resources that, in the end, will destroy us.