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Photographer David Ellingsen focuses his camera on our fragile world, drawing attention to its transience and temporality. His images are at once performative and surrealist, meticulous and archival, and are marked by simplicity and empathy. In his Future Imperfect series, the naked and distinctly organic human body is seen repeated in wild open space. The effect is a play of opposites, equally animal and mineral, flotsam and jetsam, newborn and dead, and intimate and expansive. In his series, The Last Stand, simple tree stumps evoke a theatre, a morgue, a pantheon of gods, the tragic hopes of industry and the fierce resilience of nature. Using his camera, Ellingsen becomes a storyteller and historian. The son of one of the first pioneering families on a far flung island in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, Ellingsen expresses the artist’s responsibility for home: an environment that his ancestors have sometimes nurtured, and sometimes harmed.
Ellingsen’s photographs are in permanent collections around the world, including the Chinese Museum of Photography, the Dana Farber Cancer Centre at Harvard University and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. They were awarded First Place at the Prix de la Photographie Paris and at the International Photography Awards in Los Angeles and shortlisted for Photolucida’s Critical Mass Book Award.
Read more about David Ellingsen:
Seeing the Trees Through the Forest: Vestiges of Ancient Woods