Water calls to us as human beings. We are mostly made up of the stuff. Historically we build settlements near it. We are drawn to water for many reasons: for our health and survival, for spiritual rites and rituals, for athletic endeavors, and often for the pure pleasure of social engagement. In the heat of a southern summer it cools us and acts as a gathering place. Water attracts every race and social strata. It is where one culture rubs shoulders with the another.
Water flows down out of mountains and finds it way to oceans. It meanders its way across my southern landscape in North Carolina. The quality of our water has been under attack in any number of ways, from fracking and coal ash ponds leaking to cattle fecal contamination and simple suburban development. Pristine tracks of land such as the Harper Creek and Lost Cove are in jeopardy of losing wilderness protections. Programs such as Mountain to Sea trails help draw attention to the path and importance of our water while lobbyists maneuver in government hallways. The fate of our water hangs in the balance.
My interest in these images is to examine the social significance of water in our lives. These photographs capture the variety of human interaction found around beaches and lakes, along rivers, waterfalls and swimming holes.
blink of an eye
blink of an eye - a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat); - an indefinitely short time.
Blink of an eye
and it’s gone.
This body of work examines moments and places we can often take for granted - those we think will always be around, and then, in the blink of an eye, can be gone.
This project is my personal response to the events surrounding both 9.11 and Hurricane Katrina. Having been saturated with images of destruction, the intent in "Blink of an Eye" is to examine a more psychological and emotional response to a sense of loss, dislocation and isolation. I have used toy cameras and the soft, gauzy look they provide in order to create images depicting more of a sense of nostalgia, tinged with sentimentality and even optimism.
I feel that this notion of loss can be applied to physical objects such as buildings or cities, but also to more ephemeral concepts such as summertime, mortality and youth. My photographs reflect these recurring themes through iconic childhood and leisure-time subjects such as playgrounds, carnivals and midways, such as the final days of Coney Island, quiet moments, and off-season vignettes. By occasionally using double exposures and image sequences arranged out of order I also want to cause a sense of discomfort and disruption.
My photography is anchored in the documentary tradition. I began in this genre, within the "street photography" style, addressing larger universal themes in the social landscape, but has become ever more subjective in expression while the themes have become more intimate and personal. My belief is that a camera is the tool of a subjective artist. In the act of creation, the artist has many different tools available in which to influence the mood and tone of the photograph, none more important than the mind and eye of the artist.
With each project, I enter into an exploration into which visual language is best used to create these "documents." By utilizing a variety of cameras and film types, distressing and manipulating an image, recombining imagery to suggest a different dialogue, the goal is to find the most suitable voice for the subject. Certainly I use "straight" photography, but I have also used toy cameras, distressed large format polaroids, cyanotypes, collage, and am currently exploring photogravures.
Bryce Lankard is a native of North Carolina, and a UNC-Chapel HiIl alumnus. He has been immersed in photography his entire adult life. In addition to being an editorial and fine art photographer he has also served in the roles of Art Director, Photo Editor, Educator, Curator and Principal Photographer, from New Orleans to New York City. In 1995 he was a co-founder of Tribe Magazine in New Orleans and served as Creative Director for the celebrated publication. He went on to work for 9 years in New York City, but in late 2006, following Hurricane Katrina, he returned to New Orleans and co-founded the non-profit New Orleans Photo Alliance. He forged the NOPA mission to create opportunities for the vibrant but neglected photography community in the Gulf South and to provide education and exposure to both the public and practitioners of the medium. Returning to North Carolina in early 2009 he has continued to share his knowledge by teaching and lecturing at venues such as UNC, the Gregg Museum, the Art Institute, the Light Factory, the ArtsCenter and Duke's Center for Documentary Studies.
Throughout all this he has continued to challenge himself creatively with new work, exploring the language of photography and has exhibited the results internationally to critical acclaim. His latest was a collaboration with the 5 photographer "Posse" at the SlowExposures festival that has chose southern literary icon, Flannery O'Connor and her themes, as a guiding light.. He is honored to have had his work appear alongside legends such as Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cindy Sherman, Bruce Davidson, and Andres Serrano in galleries and publications in Spain, Germany, France and throughout America. HIs work was featured in the the Light Factory's "Romance of the Road" exhibition. Various projects have been highlighted in magazines such as Fraction, Square and Fine Art Photo and he has made three appearances in SXSE magazine.
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