Fiona Howarth: A Land Profaned

Fiona Howarth has been working both here and abroad to examine and address social and environmental issues on a local and international level. Working in both black & white and color, Fiona’s work revolves around notions of time, memory and loss and uses alternative and traditional processes in the making of her images. She has won numerous awards over the last ten years for her work since graduating from the University of the Fraser Valley and currently resides in Mt. Lehman, British Columbia.

In A Land Profaned, I feel Fiona’s use of composition and distance from the subject brings to mind the idea of being a witness. Observing and documenting the destruction of woodland but with only a few indicators as to the perpetrators (makeshift roads, neatly stacked piles, etc.) adds to an isolating and somewhat claustrophobic feeling, despite the openness of the setting.

More examples of Fiona’s beautiful work can be found here.

Artist Statement:

A Land Profaned

The landscape was shrouded in fog as though it was a protective blanket for the man made scars that blighted the forest. I believe that showing man’s destruction in a beautiful way has power for change and is a vessel for examining our values. The dichotomy I examined in this series lies in that the land I photographed was preserved for forestry purposes but its beauty is in its undamaged form.

Forestry is one of B.C.’s oldest industries and as a province we have made the assumption that there is an unlimited resource for it. But we have seen over the years that it is more finite then originally assumed and when these resources are depleted they are hard to replace. So how do we rectify the values between industry and the collective public consciousness of preservation? What seems to happen is that many of these clear-cut areas are far out and away from the general public’s gaze. Over the years I have journeyed the back roads and seen the land transformed from untouched to virtually decimated. I used to be able to travel for hours and see little of man’s imprint but now it is the forest between the logging that is the rarity.

A New Clearing, C-Print, 2012A New Clearing, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

A New Road, C-Print, 2012(1)A New Road, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

Broken Silence, C-Print, 2012Broken Silence, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

Fallen Giants, C-Print, 2012(1)Fallen Giants, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

Shrouded Stumps, C-Print, 2012Shrouded Stumps, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

The Hill, C-Print, 2012The Hill #2, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

Unobstructed Lake View, C-Print, 2012Unobstructed Lake View, C-Print, 20×24”, 2012

The Canadian Photographic Portfolio Society publishes limited edition photographic portfolios of work by Canadian artists. Formed in 1986, the Society’s aim is to support the development of Canadian photographic art and raise its international profile. We are a non-profit society operated by a volunteer board of arts professionals.

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