Altered Landscapes

Photo: of an art installation called Altered Landscapes

Altered Landscapes

By Aaron Leon

Curated by Justin Ramsey, The Polygon Gallery

Altered Landscapes, by Splatsin artist Aaron Leon, is a series of photographs in which the tricolour process conveys an experience of wonder in nature. Each photograph is captured through a long shutter exposure over the course of several hours, during which time Leon alternates red, blue, and green filters in front of the camera. Together, the filters neutralize each other to create a white, or “balanced,” negative. However, anything that moves in the landscape during this process – such as light, water, foliage, shadows, or clouds – is exposed differently to the various colour filters, appearing pearlescent in the finished image.

Altered Landscapes honours the independent agency of the natural landscape, as interconnected places and processes that constantly travel and change. This agency registers in the photograph through the final polychromatic shimmering. Inherent in these vibrant colours is a sense of psychedelia, suggesting altered states of consciousness. This series invites participants to think of the land as a teacher and Knowledge Keeper, recognizing how slowing down and engaging thoughtfully with our environments leads to new, deeper understanding.

Presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival and the Canada Line Public Art Program – InTransitBC

Image credits: Aaron Leon, Work from the Altered Landscapes series, 2013–16. Courtesy of the Artist.