In his acclaimed series Endless Summer, Canadian photographer Joshua Jensen-Nagle continues to capture aerial images of sunbathed beaches around the world, transforming crowds of people into toy-like figures set against sublime natural backdrops.
Approaching the medium of photography as a “means to evoke emotion rather than document a reality”, Jensen-Nagle’s beach-goers in repose evoke a collective reminiscence, sparking personal associations that might resemble the artist’s own nostalgia for a “childhood spent on the shore… memories of never-ending days floating in the water, jumping waves.”
Jensen-Nagle’s bird’s-eye view and immersive, large-scale format disturbs one’s sense of depth and perspective to abstract these familiar sites of leisure; dramatic visual patterns emerge from the photographic surface: colourful umbrellas form recurring motifs, swimmers afloat become the material of choice for the artist’s mark-making, poised between the painterly washes of sand and surf demarcating these compositions.
Beyond their evocative potential and arresting imagery, Joshua Jensen-Nagle’s scenes inspire a dialogue revolving around the nuanced spatial history of the beach. The effect of this imaging is multifold, a study of topographical and ecological tensions between the boundaries of land and sea; a liminal space between nature and civilization, the familiar and unknown. Situated in this intersectional space, Jensen-Nagle examines the ways in which humanity inhabits these environments at the furthest reaches of the earth; ruminating upon the nature and evolution of leisure and its place in the breakneck pace of our everyday lives.