Jo Sutherst – Artist Statement
For me, photography is a way to express myself. Images help me to interpret the world around me on my terms. I do not look at the world in the same way as the person next to me. I see abstract forms and fragments of landscapes in all that I see. I use my photography to open up an unseen and unexplored world, presenting it for others to see.
I enjoy the challenge of creating images where the subject is not totally clear. My photographs do not reference recognisable forms. The identifying reference points are missing or obscured. This allows the contents of the frame to have more to do with lines, shapes, and textures, rather than the subject. Parts of the equine body are not immediately identifiable in the images. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By applying abstraction, I investigate the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.
By applying abstraction, I aim to formalise the coincidental and emphasise the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages. This is successful in engaging the viewer, who can take time to meditate on the forms. Photographs give us permission to stare and to see something new in an image. By isolating fragments of the equine body, the trivial becomes elevated and accentuated and the images make us aware of the sculptural landscape potential and texture of the body. The body becomes an object stripped of its animal identity and is transformed into sensual and dramatic landscapes.