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Tim Gravesen

Tim Gravesen

“First Exhibition at Gallery 1044

Tim Graveson is a life long resident of Inverness. For “First exhibition at Gallery 1044”, Graveson has made a giclee print. The central figures in these photographs are books in stacks, placed in the landscape. The juxtaposition of the human and the natural world is an important concept in this work. Showing with the photograph is the stack of books that was used.

Graveson’s photographic images are about the book both as an ordinary object and as a symbol of knowledge. The photographer takes the symbol (the book) out of its normal, cultural context and places it in a new context, nature.

“Like many artists,” says Graveson,  “I use the book for its interest as both an object and a symbol. As a symbol the book has a more power than any particular, individual book.”

Graveson’s images have a performance aspect, as each photography session begins with selection of the site and the placing of the books.

“The books that were used in this work were library discards. I imagine that most old books end up in landfills to be buried and lost. Reusing these books actually has given them a new life as images for this and other shows.”

Artist Statement

I work with books as sculptural objects, the central figures are reused books that the I have altered, then piled or stacked. The book is the "matter" both in the real stacks on the floor and as the subject in my digital photographs. In the photographs the books are placed in natural settings, mostly in coastal West Marin where I live. The juxtaposition of the human and the natural is an important concept for me.

In the photographs, I treat the book as a physical, real-world object and also as an abstraction, a symbol. The images reveal what happens when an ordinary object (the book) is taken out of its normal context and placed it in an unexpected setting. We can see the stack of books as a figure in a landscape; and also understand the stacked books a symbol of the human effort to comprehend nature, and by extension, all of experience.

I have discovered that when I use books in my photographs they become powerful symbols; people respond to them, giving them a personal meaning that goes far beyond the actual books themselves. Each person has his or her own history with books and that is what they tend to see in my book stacks or placed books.

The images have a performance aspect; each photography session begins when I place books in a natural setting, which I've usually chosen beforehand. In some cases the books have been transformed through the alchemy of fire or water, or exposure to the elements over time. The books that I use in this work were library discards. They were on their way to the landfill. I imagine that most old books end up in landfills to be buried and lost. Reusing these books has given them a new life in my artwork.



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