Conjured Futures: Artist's Statement

Ellen Jantzen


Manifestation - Digital C-Prints (alternatively Dye Sublimation on Aluminum) 
all prints 24" x 36"

I stand back and take it all in. I have always been intrigued with mountains, their formation, evolution and beauty. I find the history of geology fascinating, the ebb and flow of minerals, deposits and formations. Here in Northern New Mexico, many were formed in ancient volcanic activity. The age and longevity of mountains is mesmerizing and hard to comprehend. Symbolically they represent constancy, eternity and stillness. In these times of political upheaval this is comforting. But as climate change looms, perhaps even the mountains are in peril? 

I chose to convey the vertical nature of mountains by using the portrait format in many of my photos rather than a landscape format to represent elevation. I also like the portrait configuration, which has been used throughout history to depict a person to give the images a personality. 

I am intrigued with how small rocks and stones are, essentially, mountains except for size. They are made of the same materials and minerals. Ratio, proportion, relative size, all plays a part in the magnitude of the structures. There is an aesthetic magic of scale. Lately I have been including petroglyphs found on rock formations bringing the ancient history of rocks and people together. 

In this series I wish to capture the abstract nature of the mountain forms; also highlighting a color palette that demonstrates an affinity with minerals hidden within the mountains; copper, turquoise, iron. I feel this visual strategy embodies the appearance, the exterior as well as revealing the depth of the interior of mountains.