Dark Before Dawn, Jean Albus, 2010
If you were visiting my blog last year, you might remember when I posted some work by Montana artist/photographer Jean Albus. Click here to see those posts.
And now here’s more wonderment from Jean. The next images are from her 2009 collection “What Else is There to Say About Land.”
Jean’s work combines images that speak to me: the often harsh landscape of Montana, where four generations of my family have lived; images of women; the feminine and flowing lines of beautiful fabrics and clothing.
Somehow, these are related.
Even I, not given to conscious stereotyping about my home state, can conjure a cowboys-and-tumbleweed image of Montana in my mind.
But Jean’s work shows a woman here; finding her place in this land….touching, feeling, literally immersing herself in place. In a part of the earth where geography so clearly dominates human movement, I have needed to do the same. I have spent hours and days making my peace with the land: leaving my footprints, ski tracks, tire marks in deep recesses of mountains where I might not be found for days if I got lost. I have needed to lie down, dive in, dig my hands deep into the elements of the earth.
Nowadays this urge is not so strong. I have reached some kind of equilibrium—unconscious, mostly—with these external forms. Always aware of them, always knowing on the edges of my consciousness that they’re there, the mountains and the forests hold me like primeval mothers’ arms. Knowing this, I spend more time indoors, exploring the inner wilderness of line, form, and color.
Jean Albus’ work reminds me of who I am in this place where I came into the world.
You can see more of Jean’s art, and contact her, at her gallery on Flickr.