“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” –Albert Einstein
Caleb Charland’s photography springs from a place of wonder, from “somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty,” resulting in images that are at once familiar yet strange. All of his images are created in-camera, on a flatbed scanner, or in the darkroom. No content is created or added digitally.
“Each piece,” he says, “begins as a question of visual possibilities and develops in tandem with the natural laws of the world. Serendipitously, this process often yields unexpected results measurable only through photographic processes. The human presence and artifacts of the process provide a clue to the creation of the photograph while adding to the mysterious nature of the image. My hope is that this work affirms that even within the well-tested laws of science there are, and must always be, pathways to reinterpretation and discovery.”
Growing up in rural Maine, Charland spent much of his childhood helping his father remodel their family home. Exploring the world at hand—from the basement to the backyard—instilled in him an awareness of the potential for the creative use of materials, and the ability to fabricate his visions. “Maine, for me, is a spirit of individuality, self-reliance, a love and knowledge of nature, and a dedication to one’s life work—the Yankee work ethic, if you will.”
Charland (b. 1980) earned a BFA in photography with departmental honors from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2004 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Trustees Fellow in 2010, and he was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2009. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Progressive Collection, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He currently lives and works in southern Maine. www.calebcharland.com
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 27, 4 to 6pm