Self-taught photographer Sam Barrow photographs the landscapes of his native New Zealand, capturing highly charged and richly detailed scenes. Rather than documenting the countryside, the artist nurtures his personal connection with the land, conveying the emotional affect inscribed in diverse sites. Barrow photographs in low light with a slow shutter speed to create manipulated and subjective images that reveal unseen depths in color, texture, and space and unveil a mystical world more vital than our illusory experience of the everyday.
In his photograph Lindis Pass, Barrow documents the dramatic play of light and shadow on the hilly New Zealand landscape. The exaggerated panorama provides a vivid interpretation of the scenery, which hovers between earthly and lunar. Similarly, the artist’s equally rich panorama titled Out on Home Hills Runs Road captures a theatrical view in which land and sky are rendered atmospherically, the vista communicating the mysterious power of nature. Finally, Night Watch #3 depicts an abandoned, graffiti sprayed structure floating in an empty field. In the sky above, a cosmic swirl of stars reveals the presence of a universe just out of reach.