Artist Statement

John Lilley PhotographySimply put, I make photographs because I see photographs. In my process of exploration, I experience the finding of an image as an emotional event; recognition comes in the form of a deeply satisfying feeling of discovery.

However, I'm rarely attracted to the "big picture." Rather, my vision is almost unconsciously drawn to distinct designs, textures, and forms that occur as small subsets of the broader landscape. I am fascinated by the myriad possibilities for abstract composition that exist in our world.

Interpreting these usually unseen fragments of the environment by means of a photographic image has long been a compelling interest. My intention is to present the image content clearly and directly, even though the subject matter may not be immediately discernible. I’m most interested in creating the possibility that viewers will recognize and appreciate the “unheard music” in the landscape.

To provide superior tonal gradation and textural detail, I work primarily with large and medium format film cameras. Film is scanned, after which the image becomes a digital file. Contrast and color are refined using the computer. Prints are made using pigment ink on the highest quality rag paper.