“Why does it have to be flat? Why does it have to be a rectangle? Why is it in a frame? Why is there mount board? Why is there glass?” (Wilson, 2015)
For Letha Wilson, the photograph is a material for her to use within her practice, and she is very interested in the way we display photographs in particular. She asks many questions about this aspect of photography, and by doing so she “reclaims the photographic image, exploring the medium’s inability to encompass the site it represents.” (Grimmgallery.com, ND). Though she expresses finding a beauty in landscape photography, she is also driven by a disappointment in their flatness and strives to create more of a physical presence for the images she works with.
Her work encompasses the use of concrete, sawn wood, steel and a variety of other materials normally used within the construction of buildings, but she inters photographs within them, or coats them with photographic scenes from the natural world. Sometimes the images are compressed within concrete, printed on construction boards or folded and held firmly with a beam of steel, making entirely new constructions; large, unique sculptural artworks. It could be argued that they do not fit in to the category of photography, even though they contain Wilson’s photographic images, but rather that they demonstrate a step beyond the photographic practice by utilising the images as the basis of sculptures. Wilson adopts this approach as a way of commenting on human relationships with natural and manmade environments. “With layers of concrete or bases of cement, Wilson’s works are a manmade contrast to the natural subjects of her prints, while their final textures also refer back to natural terrains.” (galeriegaillard.com, ND)
Galerie Gaillard (ND) Letha Wilson. Available at:
http://galeriegaillard.com/en/artistes/oeuvres/8213/letha-wilson [Accessed 11th February 2019]
Grimm (ND) Letha Wilson. Available at: https://grimmgallery.com/artists/letha-wilson/ [Accessed 10th February 2019]
Wilson, L. (2015) Letha Wilson: Sight Specific from Light Work [Video] available at: https://vimeo.com/120373063 [Accessed 11th February 2019]