Hey West Michigan friends! Call up your friends and family and bring them with you to CultureWorks Art Gallery in Holland on March 8th from 7-9pm for the opening night of SEPARATE BODIES! Ryan’s brother Chris is the featured artist March 2-April 27th and photographs from his semester in New Zealand will be on display and for sale! Ryan and I have a few Chris Cox originals framed on our walls and we love how they bring outside inside.
Christopher’s friend/musician Jacob will be writing and recording music in response to the photos, this music will be played on March 8th, opening night of the exhibit. I sincerely hope you will take a few minutes to read Jacob’s review of SEPARATE BODIES below.
SEPARATE BODIES: MORE THAN TRAVELOG
What to think of those images pulled from the New Zealand expanse? Flat blue layers of water, mossy mountain ridges at their shore, above it sky hung as a billowing sheet. This is a land made of two islands: each of their interiors distinct but still covered in the Pacific’s foggy mantle – separate bodies, each nook in their scattered landscape reflecting the entire island’s very own complexity, depth, and place in the world.
This is the very complexity that traveler, student, and photographer Chris Cox immersed himself in while studying abroad at New Zealand’s acclaimed, Massey University, Wellington. Cox, currently finishing his Studio Art degree at Hope College, Holland, Michigan, saw New Zealand’s North and South islands not as simply geography to traipse across, but as beings to interact with in the very same spirit as his human companions, commonly photographed, captured in the Kiwi landscapes. These islands were gracious hosts, spirited locals, mysterious storytellers. Never latent earth or solemn geography, but earnest companions in his journeys.
In this way Chris Cox’s Separate Bodies is more than travelog. More than documentation and even more than a response to New Zealand, it is a sincere relationship with the land. Photographs in this series were collected through many weeks of travel in and around New Zealand’s North and South Islands: Wellington, Abel Tasman, Fiordland National Park, the Southern Alps, the far Northland. Shooting exclusively with medium format film, these are photographs crafted and intentional. Respectful, sensitive, but still emotional. It is the cinematic nature of Separate Bodies that further identifies how these photographs supersede any kind of journalistic character. Cox’s subjects are aware of the camera, the scenes are interested in story and history, there is a tangible, sentimental connection between the photographer, the subject, and the overall environment.
It is with great care that Chris Cox presents Separate Bodies, photographs that are open enough to move around in. We must find our place in these photographs. Bring to them our darkness and we will find it there, spoken in the gloom of a coastal cave and the dawn light of a tent. Bring our childlike wonder, and find it also, suspended in the gold gleam of dry grasslands.