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Christopher Harris:
Port Susan photographs

Lisa Harris Gallery
Seattle WA Feb 5-28, 2004

Christopher Harris – Port Susan #2
Christopher Harris, Port Susan #2 (2003), chromogenic print mounted on aluminum
[Lisa Harris Gallery. Seattle, WA, Feb 5-28]

At first glance, Christopher Harris’ work looks like subdued painted surfaces with quiet transitions and gradations of hue. In actuality, they are soft-focus photographs with colours true to the landscapes and skies of Puget Sound.

Illinois-born Harris was schooled on the East Coast and currently resides in Seattle. Harris makes his own pinhole cameras, a simple type of lensless camera device that takes very soft-focus pictures with infinite depths of field. For the this exhibition, Harris photographed images around Port Susan, an inlet of the Puget Sound, 35 miles north of Seattle. He took every photograph in the series over the course of several months, from a single vantage point on Camano Island, looking southeast toward the bay of Port Susan. The photographs were partially funded by a grant from Artist Trust of Seattle.

Port Susan is a vital habitat for many species of birds and fish. Owls, hawks, bald eagles, Trumpeter swans, as well as a variety of Coho and Chinook salmon, Steelhead and sea-run Cutthroat trout call this bay home. The exhibit features 12 works that capture morning fog, the shifting grays of winter, dim nightfalls or clear, blue, summer skies. The series is intriguing for the changing day-to-day environment with its subtle variations in colour and light, seasonal changes and slight irregularities in the horizon, based on tidal variations. 

Allyn Cantor

 Fri, Feb 6, 2004