“Seeking Silence: Photography of Russell J. Young” was created in conjunction with the exhibit “In the Footsteps of David Douglas” to capture the Oregon landscapes that David Douglas might have visited. The exhibit consists of 14 photographic prints on rag paper. Russell J. Young is a self-taught photographer and fine art printer who has a passion for visual works and draws influence from the elements of various art forms.
In the artist’s words:
Seeking Silence is a reflection of the peace and the quietness of breath that one finds beyond the grandeur and grace of expansive vistas. The photographs capture a moment and a sense of place, reflecting a deeper longing of the human experience.
These landscape photographs come from a revelatory, wanderer’s process, seeking to bring forth that which is at once penetrating and immersive. As they reveal a view, they also invite you to witness and experience nature in a raw timelessness, such that David Douglas would have encountered. Even in the city, peacefulness and tranquility can be found by looking to nature: in the dawn, in the twilight, and in the depths of night, places of quiet and stillness still exist.
My process of printing has taken 10 years of study and adjustment to perfect, coming from a mix of technology, alchemy and diligence. Each paper has a mood and style inspired by the content and color palette of a given photograph. Initially, all images are printed as test prints on 8”x10” wood fiber paper, then destroyed. In the final stage, I use a cotton rag paper for my artist’s proofs, which provides a color tone and texture suitable for illuminating the qualities of the original photograph. The final edition prints are then printed on a 100-year archival cotton rag paper using archival pigmented inks.
In the field, I carry high-resolution digital cameras and an array of lenses ranging anywhere from 16mm to 800mm. Each image is the reward of persistence and patience, born from a solitary closeness with nature, a particular destination, a specific moment, often coming out of countless hours spent with heavy gear, standing in adverse weather, waiting for just the right light to fall.
It is my hope that in this process of seeing and experiencing, we might identify a piece of ourselves that has been forgotten, or that has never before been seen. By connecting visually and emotionally with images of a restful natural environment and attuning our senses we can allow for the silence, the secrets, and the bare beauty to be present with us.”
~Russell J. Young
In addition to spending a great deal of artistic time alone in nature, Russell J. Young also collaborates with theater, music, numerous visual arts, and poetry projects, and experiences the wonder and intrigue of how each can shape a photographic vision.
His first book, Teatro del los Muertos(2013) is an artistic book examining “Day of the Dead” theater. A second book of fine art landscape photography In The Mist, is projected for release in the spring of 2015 and explores an intimate relationship between photography and poetry with poems contributed by accomplished Northwest poets, including Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen.
Russell J. Young’s fine art edition prints are in private and public collections and embassies. He has exhibited in Europe and the USA. His works have been published worldwide, and he is represented by agencies in London, Stockholm and Seattle. Visit the artist’s website >to learn more.