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Jonathan Sharlin, Westport River, 2014
Hunters spend hours, sometimes days, in their hunting blinds, watching...waiting. A link to their source of food, these buildings also become a refuge, a place of contemplation. As I walk the woods with my camera, I become a hunter myself.
Places for observation, these structures offer sanctuary from contemporary life. Getting up before dawn or hugging the twilight hours, hunters exist in a state of heightened awareness.
Discovered while walking in the woods in Upper Michigan, I was intrigued by the blinds as architectural structures, as well as the contradiction between the poetry of their form and their obvious function. Each structure has its own idiosyncratic construction.
I am interested in the complexities inherent in hunting. Hunters are a heterogenous group, with contrasting and sometimes contradictory viewpoints and a wide range of motivations. Despite their physical absence in my images, their unique perspective is revealed within these structures.
Jonathan Sharlin has approached photography from many angles over his 45 year
career. He has incorporated the medium in a variety of ways, from photo-drawings
to photographic installations. Each series a process of discovery, distillation
and commentary on issues of personal importance.
For over 30 years a Rhode Island native, Jon has been the recipient of over
10 grants from the Rhode Island Council for the Arts, in addition to grants
from the Rhode Island Foundation and NEFA. (New England Foundation for the Arts).
His books include 'Cast a Cold Eye', (an end of life transcript of his mother)
Cyan Press 2008. His upcoming 2016 Blue Sky publication, 'Ancient Stones of Scotland'
has a forward by Jo-Ann Conklin Director of Brown University's David Winton
Bell Gallery. He is currently working on a book of images taken over a 25 year
period in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. ('From a Small Island')
Jon received his BA from Goddard College and his MFA from Visual Studies Workshop.
He has taught at numerous colleges, including Tufts, Rhode Island College,
Roger Williams University and RISD. His work is included in a number of
public and private collections, including the Fogg Museum, the MFA of Houston,
RISD Museum, the Polaroid Collection and Fidelity.