Chris Ireland

You Are Here, and There

31° 53′ 49″ N, 98° 21′ 48″ W (Bagget Creek Church), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum

These images are from a 2014 series You Are Here, and There, installed in the Erath County airport lobby in the summer of 2014. For each piece, I combined two sets of images. Using Google Earth, I scanned over the landscape of Erath County and captured aerial images that attracted me as abstract, natural shapes and designs. Then I would record the coordinates of those places that visually appealed to me from above and I would travel to them in my car with my camera. The images in the series are an aesthetic comparison of what I saw from the sky and what I saw on the ground.

32° 12′ 45″ N, 98° 13′ 57″ W (Country Road 492), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum
32° 12′ 45″ N, 98° 13′ 57″ W (Dale Ave), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum

I originally got into photography in my teenage years as a way to document my home and the places that shaped my childhood. Growing up in a suburban town in northeast Ohio, it was normal to watch whole neighborhoods change in the spirit of growth and redevelopment. When the woodlands behind my house where I shared my first kiss and tasted my first cigarette were turned into “Marshland View Estates”, it challenged me to document the places I call home in order to preserve those memories, so I can point to those places and say, “this is where I am from”. I have traveled a lot since then, although I am still engaged with my relationship to place in my work. With a limited knowledge of the geography around myself, when I go out photograph, I rely on maps to orient myself. With the use of satellite imagery provided by Google Earth, I am often attracted to the qualities of line and abstract shapes that aerial photography provides, only to go to a place on foot and have a different experience entirely. I have become content having an imperfect understanding of where I am, because there are many ways to see a place, much like there are many stories contained in a photograph.

32° 13′ 00″ N, 98° 10′ 60″ W (Clark Airfield Runway), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum
32° 12′ 25″ N, 98° 14′ 15″ W (Washington St), Digital Image Transfer to Aluminum
32° 13′ 24″ N, 98° 17′ 59″ W (Country Road 389), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum
31° 55′ 52″ N, 98° 10′ 23″ W (FM Road 219), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum
32° 19′ 40″ N, 98° 21′ 59″ W (Country Road 403), Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum
32° 39′ 41″ N, 98° 7′ 19″ W (Brazos, TX)
, Alcohol Gel Transfer to Aluminum