Thin Places

Nov 20, 2017 4:16PM

Guilded presents online exhibition at Artsy: ‘Thin Places’ - a series of landscapes by photographer James Ogilvy about nothing less than heaven and earth.

James Ogilvy
Sesachacha Pond II - 5:52pm, November 4th, 2017

‘Thin Places’ is a term used in ancient Celtic and Christian theology that describes places where the two realms are especially close. James has sought out these places of peace over several years, many of his images taken on the island of Nantucket, off Cape Cod.  

A slip of land 30 miles out to sea, Nantucket is a place that has a clear sense of ‘other’. Its remoteness (older inhabitants still refer to the mainland as ‘America’) may also explain its appeal – many visitors find a sense of peace there that can be elusive in our busy world.  

Nantucket’s remote location engenders a rare combination of climates, humid continental and oceanic, which intensifies nature and weather. Storms, wind, rain and fog all have a greater impact than on the mainland. But the harsher conditions also create ethereally beautiful effects – remarkable light conditions, extraordinary cloud formations, mysterious mists, and ever-changing affects on the surrounding sea and the inland waters. These lend a painterly, other-worldly quality to the images.  

James Ogilvy
Sesachacha Creek I - 5:45am, October 8th, 2017

Although many of the scenes appear quite abstract, closer inspection reveals additional levels of meaning in tiny details such as soaring solitary birds, incidental yet signature to James’ work. Materialising like an apparition they reference a visual motif associated with the spiritual since antiquity, suggestive of another dimension and hinting at a life beyond.  

Capturing these fleeting, ethereal moments requires dedication… and many early starts: the most interesting effects often happening just before and just after dawn. However James finds the sense of utter peace to be an important part of the process. Senses are unnaturally heightened to subtle changes in light and conditions as well as the animal kingdom as it starts to stir. James says he finds the experience to be an intensely spiritual one. That is what he seeks to communicate and why the notion of ‘Thin Places’ is so apposite. In the ceaseless whirl of modern life, the need for still space is greater than ever. James hopes for nothing more than to bring to others the sense of meditation and spiritual refreshment that he experiences when pursuing these images.

James gives an insight into his approach in the following movie:

Ogilvy uses state of the art printing and framing techniques that bond the acrylic glass to the prints, bonded using elastic silicone, which seals and protects while flexible enough to compensate when materials expand and contract as temperature and humidity changes.  

Image shows finished framed work

Image illustrates an unframed image in interior context