The work of poetic climate artist, Lynne Buchanan, focuses on the importance and threats that face waterways and forests around the world.  Her water-related work records the natural beauty being damaged and lost all over our planet. Buchanan’s work also focus on biodiversity and forest ecosystems, and how their contribution to the health of the planet is being impaired by humans.  Her latest book of photographs and haikus, The Poetry of Being, was published by Daylight Books in May 2023. Buchanan is also the author and photographer of Florida’s Changing Waters: A Beautiful World in Peril, published by George F. Thompson Publishing in 2019. Buchanan’s photographs have been featured in over 50 solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries across the United States and in Europe, including the Griffin Museum, the South Florida Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, Blue Sky Gallery, Center, The Center for Fine Art Photography, 516 Arts, Fotonostrum, FokiaNou Art, Space, and Slow Exposures, among others.  She was selected as a finalist in Critical Mass and was selected for Review Santa Fe twice.  Public speaking includes talks given at the Miami Book Fair, as well as at the Society for Environmental Journalism and the North American Nature Photography Association’s Summit.  Buchanan has also contributed articles for Waterkeeper Magazine and her work has been featured in numerous other publications including features in Artdoc Photography Magazine, PhotoBook Journal, Shots Magazine, South X Southeast Photomagazine, and Lenscratch. Buchanan is a participant in the project fotografar palavers and provides photographs to illustrate text by authors and poets around the world. She is the recipient of masters degrees in art history/museum studies from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and in creative writing from the University of South Florida in Tampa.  She also received a bachelor’s degree in art history from New College in Sarasota, Florida.  Buchanan currently works and resides in Fletcher, NC.

 

Lynne Buchanan Artist Statement

My deep connection with nature has led me to spend much of my time kayaking on waterways, wading in swamps, or hiking in forests and along mountain ridges.  Beyond noticing grand vistas, which one cannot help but appreciate, I am drawn to impromptu still life compositions and how light illuminates the ordinary making it extraordinary.  As I age, I find I am more interested in exploring my emotional reaction to fragility and perseverance, versus creating art that celebrates idealized versions of life.

After years of documenting the threats to our environment and our waterways in color and in a more documentary fashion, I realized I was not expressing my emotional response to the depredation. For cathartic reasons and to strike a deeper chord in viewers, I decided to interject more of my own hand into my work.  Photography has always been a spiritual practice for me.  When I go into nature, I feel I am channeling something beyond the limitations of my own psyche and the work takes on a life of its own.

When I photograph, I immerse myself in nature and connect with what I perceive on a prelinguistic level.  In Being and Time, Martin Heidegger wrote that we understand ourselves only through being in the world, and that ultimately we seek to understand Being itself, not just our knowledge and experience of it. My image-making is lyrical and bypasses my analytical mind, allowing me to experience how lifeforms might view themselves and to respond to both the essence of life and the numinous.  Platinum and palladium are precious metals, so this medium is suited for images evoking how invaluable the natural world is to our survival. Their luminosity also conveys the spiritual realm I believe is embedded in the natural world.

Being in wild places can shine a light on our deepest fears, but it can also reveal poetic truths about the natural order and human experiences that are both fleeting and timeless.  The wilderness may evoke a feeling of awe that nudges people toward mystical experiences with that which they hold to be divine.  On the verge of a sixth extinction, we are allowing our sacred wild spaces to be sacrificed upon the altar of development despite how these losses will erode our mental and physical wellbeing.  My images are reminders of what we are losing, as well as a pathway to hope.