Steve Macleod: Blackwater
“The river, a timeless symbol of the journey that we take through life.
Trees, metaphors for a window on the human condition, life; growth; decay; collapse…” (Steve Macleod, 2009)
By methodically visiting the same sites along the river course, Macleod repetitively shoots the same subjects through the seasons in direct relation to the way he feels, translating his emotional state through the lens. Always waiting for just the right moment, shooting at dawn and dusk, until each object or detail of foliage is caught within its own atmosphere. A cathartic process, he uses the changes in light and atmosphere as a form of expression for his changing moods. During dark periods, he wades through a muddled mind, confused and frustrated. He finds solace in the landscape, engulfed in its sub-dawn greyness. Macleod’s emotionally charged photographs of dark woodlands have a weight, sombre yet profoundly meditative. In stark contrast, the bleached out, ethereal images represent the artist’s high, frenetic moods. During these moments, Macleod pushes the boundaries of his photography. Objects become unreadable, and we are forced to squint into the glare. Lacy structures of trees are lost in a diaphanous milky haze.