This series started in 2016 when my reality was being shaped by the recent deaths of three family members among other things. The geometric collage of photos is designed to represent the framework of a debilitating mental state manufactured from our experiences. More specifically, these pieces address the rumination cycle of a self-constructed version of reality. The ability to find beauty in our natural environment can be a signal the cycle is broken. Deconstructing the collage reveals evidence of the undeniable beauty that simply exists in a natural state.
I began photographing and recording the locations where I spent time with my family, captivated by the unique richness of a landscape. In the studio, these intimate snapshots—all taken with the immediacy of iPhone photos— are cropped and flipped into abstracted scenes with minimal manipulation. The fragmented images of my surroundings call attention to the beauty within the simple elements of nature: the subtle gradation of a sunset or the soft transition between the sky and sea. Although geometric and seemingly balanced by the human mind, each composition exists skewed, camouflaged by personal perspective, much like the debilitating effect we inflict on our reality. My photo collages reflect on the underlying disconnect between our experiences and self-constructed versions of reality, yet continually offer beauty and resolution within our environment and ourselves.
Each title is accompanied by the longitude, latitude, date and time. This is important because it grounds the concept in terms that are specific to the piece.
-Artist Statement, 2019
Barry Purcell is a fourth-generation painter and photographer born in Virginia Beach, VA in 1973. He received his Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University in 1996 and currently resides in Richmond, VA and Virginia Beach.