ARTIST STATEMENT: I attempt to make art that exposes the natural world out of balance. To me, the beauty of a landscape must be viewed with a heightened awareness of the vulnerable/fragile state of nature. To do otherwise ignores the perils of global warming and the precipice to which it has pushed us.
Contemporary life has mangled our ancient psychic connection to the natural world. I want my landscapes, taken in jungles, rain forests and on coastlines around the world, to help restore that fundamental connection. These are beautiful, pristine places on the verge of destruction, development or degradation. Once gone, their healing power -pyschological and physical-is lost forever.
The large format of the photographs simultaneously reduces and enhances the distance between viewer and vista. This is an integral part of experiencing the work. I paint and draw or write on the surface to illuminate the vulnerability of nature's perceived beauty. The markings are a wake up call to experience the natural world as an animate being, to see it subjectively, rather than objectively as that which is "out there". We are in need of a collective healing of the world, and a concurrent restoration of balance to nature. These images are my contribution to that effort.
Dana Matthews was born in Alabama, lived 19 years in Brooklyn and currently resides in Brooklyn and upstate New York. She received a BFA at the University of Alabama and an MFA at Rhode Island School of Design. For the past twenty years she has worked with her cameras creating photographs and installations that are related to the environment and the sensitive time that we live in. She chooses to practice traditional and alternative processes such as wet-plate collodion, cyanotypes and gelatin silver printing.
Currently, her work is in the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in Leeuwarden Holland at the Fries Museum and at the Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY. A solo show of seascapes at Urban Zen in Los Angeles, CA. and before that a solo show titled “The Cruel Radiance of What Is” at chashama gallery in Chelsea, NYC. In 2013 she showed a photographic installation as well as “still life” photographs in an exhibition titled “Freak Antique” at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Photographs from her “Bordello” series were recently published in the book “Nude Art Today” by Editions Patou and “One farm; One Decade” recently published in Burn Magazine. Dana’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States and is represented in domestic and international collections.