Willson Cummer "Altered Environments"

Altered Environments
Szozda Gallery
Syracuse, NY
October 10- November 4

Willson Cummer  Selkirk Shores  #7

Willson Cummer's photographs are included in this two person show at the Szozda gallery in Syracuse, NY entitled Altered Environments. The images are from several of Cummer's projects that investigate the boundaries and interactions between man and wilderness. These boundaries are often subtle and go unnoticed to the casual observer and visitor who may take for granted that these spaces have been improved upon for the convenience of man. Cummer has a fine eye for these subtleties and his images are very carefully produced observations.

In his Parklands Series mounted in this show, Cummer documents the natural and human elements that, for him, elicit ‘great beauty though not the picturesque kind that one might expect.’ He says, “The man-made placement of benches, fences, roadways, signs and other ‘improvements’ in park lands embraces the ‘half-nature’ that exists there. When these areas are not in use, they look almost wild, yet nature is controlled and contorted.” His Green Lakes Project investigates off-season scenes in areas normally crowded, but when vacant, ‘boundaries to the natural world invoke solitude and loneliness.’ He says of his Lake Ontario Project, “Standing at the edge of the lake is like standing at the edge of the ocean: the water extends to the horizon, waves break against the shore.” He comments about ways in which use of water is controlled with signs and fences, and how improvement to the natural world is tied to benches and volleyball nets. “Visitors to this New York state park will struggle to have an unmediated encounter with the great lake.

Willson Cummer, Green Lakes Overcast #25

In addition to his photography, Cummer is a curator and teacher at Syracuse’s Light Work/Community Darkrooms. He maintains a studio in the Delavan Center in Syracuse. He is also the editor of New Landscape Photography.

Willson Cummer's website