Entry Title: "The Last Stand"
Name: David Ellingsen , Canada
Category and Expertise: Deeper Perspective|Landscape|Other_FA, Professional
Entry Description: The Last Stand...a project with deep family connection surrounding the remains of the old growth forest in British Columbia and the human-altered landscape. A metaphoric symbol for the natural world that supports me, the contemporary globalized culture I am an active part of, and the essential incompatibility of the two.
Story: The Last Stand
Five generations of my family have been, and are, a part of the forest industry in British Columbia. From falling old growth trees to creating local sustainable harvest initiatives my great grandfather, grandfather, great uncle, father, brother, and nephew have all played a part. My great grandfather and great uncle, in providing for their families and future, fell many of the trees whose remnants you now see in these photographs.
It was in this familial context and the presence of the past as it continues to shape my sense of identity, filtered through the contemporary environmental crisis and thoughts of my own responsibilities, that the seeds of this series were sown.
At its beginning this project served me as a meditation on these icons from the human-altered landscape and soon evolved into a metaphor for the natural world that supports me, the contemporary globalized culture I am an active part of, and the essential incompatibility of the two.
The cognitive dissonance arising from this dilemma of participation in, and yet responsibility for, the fouling of one’s own nest was a dominant theme guiding the creation of these photographs. This discomfort, resulting from holding two conflicting beliefs or ideals, and perhaps more importantly where it leads one, remains a key motivator in my work.
Although this pattern has been repeated throughout human history, the urgency I feel in our globalized world is one of scale...a scale now said to be so vast, and perhaps nearing a point of no return. No doubt evolution is progressing as it should, yet I cannot help but feel apprehension for the life my family will lead in the not too distant future.