Haines photographer John Hagen is doing something different as part of the Alaska Arts Confluence’s Fort Seward Interpretive project. He’s taken a panorama photograph of a Chilkat Valley mountain range to display outdoors at the Port Chilkoot dock. The photo is meant to be a contrast to what people see standing at the dock – a representation of what the landscape looked like before man-made development.
“I wanted to experiment with photography as installation art,” Hagen said. “Taking photography out of our usual realm of hanging it on a wall, or now we consume it so heavily on personal media and digital media. Kind of using that idea, I wanted to contrast the natural world with the built up world that we have around us.”
Hagen took the photo on a summer day, from a location that shows what the view would look like without the dock and other man-made constructions.
“This is one of those expressive summer days where it may have been shortly before or after some wind storm had blown through and the valley was just starting to dry out and we had some cloud cover in.”
On a recent winter afternoon, Hagen stood at the place where he had taken the photograph.
“The first thing I look for is light. Your bright sunny day isn’t the most expressive day. If you look over towards Taiya Inlet, there’s an interesting light dark light dark as the sun bounces between the hillside and the cliff faces and mountains.”
Hagen said he’s looking forward to seeing his photograph displayed ‘in the wild.’
“So much of my work just sits there on a computer, so little of it realizes a physical form.”
Hagen is one of 15 Haines artists taking part in the Fort Seward art project.
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