Daniel Sutherland’s photographs present fossilized frames of Nantucket Island’s majestic nature. For its visitors it represents a moment in time and for its inhabitants the poetry of a precious and protected place unlike most on the planet. Yet, this aesthetic appeals universally as tableaus of contemplation that are not merely nostalgic, rather contemporary formal representations. Sutherland has been capturing Nantucket for over two decades, his lens in synchronicity with its changing values and reverence to its past.
Through photography—expressing the contemplative nature of the artist’s gaze upon the land and seascapes—we are immersed in fragility and exhilaration when faced with grandeur beyond our intellectual and emotional understanding, speaking to our most basic senses and our humanity. The work engages our collective need to discover forgotten paradises that we are reminded daily are disappearing. The artist’s narrative speaks to an inner voyage that expands outward into hope for the future.
Sutherland’s Proustian patience and search for lost time is translated pictorially through a world without figuration, where the artist’s narrative is projected on his environment. This poetry is one of reverence to light, temporality and form, allowing his muse to reveal herself in a timeless choreography of curated moments. He may wait years for the conditions to present an image in mind. Yet unlike a painter, this research is dependent on conditions where wind, sky, terra and light compose this fragment of the imagination.
As we surrender these paradises, living in concrete and glass towers, immersed in devices and sonance that we have come think of as progress, we seek the refuge of quiet contemplation. As Mark Rothko aptly suggests, "Silence is so accurate".