The sublime character of much of “the last frontier” is a deeply enriching experience which can only be implied in a photograph. Alaska's vastness apprehended in silence permanently registers a peculiar combination of unsettling awe and pleasure.
Pictures can aspire only to beauty. If successful, they in their nature inevitably fall short of the sublime. The possibly comforting harmony of inherent pictorial limitations is incommensurable with the frightening transcendence of limits manifested in the sublimity of nature.
At best, pictures can constitute a report of the experience of the sublime, perhaps a recollection of the sublime in tranquillity, to borrow Wordsworth’s succinct definition of poetry. I hope these photographs gesture beyond their limits.
© David Bartlett/Silver and Ink