A selection of Keirstead's prints from his series "Orkney" & "Nights in the City" are on view and available at Leica Store Boston and at the Leica Gallery Boston's archives.
The Orkney Islands are a fascinating archipelago, showing the marks of over eight millennia of habitation by a succession of human cultures, from the Neolithic people to Picts to Vikings, and Scots. It is a landscape greatly altered by agriculture, and sheep husbandry. In this series I used a triptych format, rather than stitched panoramas, to portray my sense of this unique place, to show the viewer a window into its deep time and wide spaces. I attempt to show what it’s like to stop to look at landscapes that mix 358 million year old Devonian Period Old Red Sandstone cliffs and sea stacks, Neolithic, Iron Age, medieval, and modern structures, surrounded by vast pastures, fields, and heaths.
Nights in the City
Urban humans have transformed their nights by many street lighting technologies, and Boston is no exception, using gas and electric lights of many sorts. Stars have all but disappeared, and many generations of artificial light each give off their own colors, mixing into an otherworldly appearance. This altered reality that may seem surreal, despite its every-night occurrence. I photographed old back streets and alleys, bridges and cityscapes, places that transform themselves at night to resemble theatrical sets, where the viewer half expects to see rival street-gangs set to “rumble,” or burst into song. Ordinary places can seem ready for a soprano to steal into the darkness for an illicit tryst with her tenor lover. The triptych format has been used for hundreds of years as a vehicle for religious iconography. Here it is stripped of all such associations, and used to show multiple perspectives on a space, giving the viewer some idea of what it's like to hang out behind Boston's row-houses and restaurants after dark; a lingering gaze on places where people seldom linger.
Artist Talk: Steven Keirstead
- 10/22/2019 - 10/22/2019