Sky Above, Sea Below

photograph by David Wright

Can you talk a little about the role that land plays in these pictures? Obviously the title makes reference only to the sky and the sea, but it seems to me that the elusive angular smudges of land in these photos give the sequence a sense of time passing and in some strange way provide a kind of anchor even in its near total absence…

I was working as a sternman on a commercial lobster fishing vessel when I started making these pictures, One afternoon I came across a quote in a newspaper while riding the ferry from Rockland to Vinalhaven where I lobster: “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?” It’s from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot. I tore it from the newspaper and still have it sitting in my wallet.

The ocean is a vast expanse where one can find himself just as easily as one can lose himself. I see the land as a metaphor between being close to something you can almost reach out and feel it while simultaneously being equally far away. The land becomes a place of yearning, of wanting, of desire for love and sadness. Maybe the land signifies the idea of wanting to run from something you can never truly get away from.


The text above is taken from an interview of David Wright by Stanley at the Great Leap Sideways. To see the entire Sky Above, Sea Below series visit David’s website . The work can be viewed in person and purchased at Asymmetrick Arts in Rockland.