Essence of Place: Iceland
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Bio - Chris Ogden
Stones Echo, written on quarry walls – Artist Statement by Chris Ogden
In the days when stone flowed like water, time didn’t mean the same thing as it does to us today. Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, sandstone, slate, and quartzite . . . these are the children of Kronos.
When miners reached under the ribs of the Earth to pull out its still-beating heart to construct the Pyramids, Chartres Cathedral, First National Bank, and Washington D.C., they carved portals into Earth’s crust, exposing dimension stone walls. Behind this scrim are where the oldest spirits still move as through fog.
Make no mistake: here too is the hand of man. Yet despite signs of old explosions, forged rust, cuts, lines, graffiti, meltings, tailings, drill holes, and left-behind tools, Nature remains imperturbable—not serene, but equanimous, even generous. She invites our engagement and meditations into her secrets.
Which is more real, the reflection of rock, or the rock? Such questions grew in me during my adolescence. Like many, as a child I leapt into the swimming hole of an abandoned quarry reverberating with adolescent joys and angsts echoing off the walls. I tried to name all the colors of the Grand Canyon, where I acquired my first piece of petrified wood for $0.35, and decades later kayaked along the base of its towering walls, overwhelmed by the enveloping maps to histories beyond comprehension. I craned my neck to feel Franconia Notch’s metaphorical and contradictory tableaux. My spiritual DNA fused with stones.
Earth, I came to realize, doesn’t mind our anthropomorphic voyeurism. Stone, born before human DNA, offers multiple layers, histories, titillations, and sensualities of taboos and frozen violence laid bare. Once opened to air, the stone’s essence exudes transmutations as though alive.
As the Ancient Ones thanked their prey for giving themselves in the hunt, so must we turn here to a generous landscape to say, “We honor you, we thank you.” I hope you’ll find these art pieces both evocative and provocative. With contemplation, these images are stepping stones, inviting us to explore backward and forward in time, outward across the universe, and inward into our souls.
What new histories shall we write?
Chris Ogden | StonesEcho@ChrisOgden.com
Gratitude overflows from within me for the generous help and support gifted to me from dozens of awesome humans and organziations over a ten year span, including: Joan & Lynn Ogden, Burk Uzzle, Janet Kagan, Paul Baerman, “Big Dave” Hull, Tim Lardner, Atiya Mosley, Charlie Iachetta, Leah Ogden, Sam Abell, Arthur Meyerson, Ashlyn Davis, Aline Smithson, Jerry Bolas, Bob Campo, Helen Trexler, Robbie Holsouser, Peter Natti, Jim Hieb, Patrick Perus, Francois Darmayan, Tommy Heath, Tom Fabbioli, Joe Shaw, Mark Heath, Tim Walter, Seth Resnick, John Paul Caponigro, Jethro Waters, Dave Wofford, Sam Barzilay, Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Mary Virginia Swanson, Creighton Coleman, Alex Sanchez, Margaret DeMott, Les Bartlett, and Ted Spangenthal!