Of Falling & Floating presents two chapters in Elijah Gowin’s newest series of images. The photographs in this exhibition raise questions of doubt and faith in our increasingly polarized society. Gowin’s subjects are pictured drifting in water or falling through the air, either accepting what is happening to them with grace or reacting instead with panic. A sense of anxiety and mystery pervades the images – who are these people, what rituals are they engaged in, and what led them to these transformative moments? Throughout the series, a multitude of dramas is played out against the backdrop of the natural world – leafy trees, shallow water, and expanses of open sky. As a whole, the series reflects the breadth of human emotion – fear and joy, anger and peace – and expresses the artist’s search for inner balance during a time of global uncertainty.
The images in Of Falling & Floating are created by the artist using a process which combines painstaking hand-crafted techniques with the latest digital imagery technology. Gowin collects amateur photographs through the internet and collages them in multiple layers before printing small paper negatives which are cut by hand and then scanned, causing the paper fibers to become a part of the final distressed image. The photographs appear to be both old and new, confusing to the eye and yet hauntingly familiar.