O'Connell, Kevin

Kevin O’Connell, Denver, CO, USA

Some Horizon

I am fascinated by the visual possibilities presented when pasting together fragments of the horizon. On their simplest level, these images are about the line created by the horizon in vast, open spaces. But the series also deals with the concept of the horizon as our limit of perception.

Kevin O’Connell, Denver, Colorado, USA, February 2007

Plains and Chords

“My approach to photographing on the plains can be summed up in two words: I drive. While I occasionally leave my house with a destination in mind, I usually wander. Driving on the plains affords great contemplation and I often find myself in a sort of zen-like trance. More than once I’ve realized that I have no idea where I am. There are certain areas I return to over time due somewhat to proximity, but I also believe that it is simply because I like those places. It feels good to be there. It is an indescribable feeling to be “floating” through that space. I wish that I take everyone to these places to see, really see, what I see. Hopefully my photographs provide a window to this sense of awe.

Sometimes I leave the car on the side of a dirt road and walk into a field. Depending on the day and location it can be either quite pleasant, or very hostile. Often, there is a huge sense of vulnerability. The wind is almost a constant, and one’s own verticality seems to exist in defiance of the landscape. The vastness and space of the plains serve as a metaphor for our place in the world and the nature of things.

It is hard to define what, exactly, prompts me to stop the car, get out, and photograph. I respond intuitively to what I see. Some days I think I see more, and I seem to photograph with great ease and confidence. Other days, it is a struggle, and I can return home after driving two or three hundred miles with out exposing a single negative. Oddly, there seems to be little correlation between my feeling, at the time I take a picture, and the power of the image. The results from those “good” days when I feel prolific can be worthless.

Overall, it is an irrational, non-linear process that can have no goals or objectives. I simply have to put myself in a place to allow it to occur.”

Kevin O’Connell, Denver, Colorado, USA, May 2004