nicholas x bent is a canadian contemporary fine art photographer utilizing camera movements and distortion to create unique landscape images.
raised in a northern mining town in ontario, canada, i experienced the contrast of stark rugged landscapes stripped by mine operations and pristine old growth forests, of eerie blue lakes deadened by acid rain fallout from the mine smelter stacks and green lakes filled with the promise of dinner.
this land was heaved up from the earth’s core and settled by sediment—islands of red granite shot through with veins of black granite and gleaming quartz in streams of pocked limestone. spruce, cedar, and junipers – hundreds of years old perched on cliffs with only the promise of tomorrows rain. the land’s ghosts travel on the winds and lodge in the valleys, gorges, and crevasses, revealing history to those with eyes to see it.
our occupation of this land places intensifying demand on nature with each passing generation, and yet our connection to this wildness diminishes in lock step with its destruction. each portrait of a tree, or grouping of trees or a building invites the viewer to consider its uniqueness and its place – or put another way – its individuality. the movement in each of the images assists in the construction of an understanding about the sentience of the subject, and perhaps a recognition of parallels in feeling between the viewer and the subject. the viewer might then understand the isolation or eradication of wildness as not only an ecological tragedy but a societal and spiritual one as well.