Tom Chambers: To the Edge
Photographer Tom Chambers has a new body of work, To the Edge, inspired by the austere and striking landscape of Iceland. The rolling green hills, moody skies, rocky vistas, the flora and fauna of a country that has inspired photographers for decades set the stage for Tom’s constructed images. He adds text from Allen Chamberlain’s Iceland poetry to create painterly and metaphoric constructions that speak to nature, memory, and possibility.
Tom was raised in the Amish farm country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Tom completed a B.F.A. in 1985 from The Ringling School of Art, Sarasota, Florida majoring in graphic design with an emphasis in photography. Since 1998 Tom has created photomontage images for sharing intriguing unspoken stories, all of which reflect his worldview and elicit a range of feelings in the viewer. Tom exhibits his photography both nationally and internationally.
Tom has received fellowships from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Tom’s photography is held in the collections of the National Museum of Photography, Bogotá, Colombia; California Sate Polytechnic University; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA; Santa Fe Museum of Art, NM; Museum of Realist Art, Boston; Sir Richard Branson, personal collection; and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Entropic Kingdom, containing images from five series, was published by Modernbook Editions in 2012. Recently, Tom has completed two new series, “Illumination” and “Animal Visions”.
To The Edge
Exploring Iceland I stretched to look underneath, above, and around the edges of the landscape. What mattered was not right before my eyes, but delicately hidden in glaciers, volcanic rock, and ice, all of which have endured over many millennia. My photomontage series “To the Edge” celebrates the biodiversity of the natural world. Poet Allen Chamberlain inspired by my images, wrote this ghazal entitled Iceland, lines of which are incorporated into each image of the series.
~ Allen Chamberlain
Clouds of tangled lichen cleave to the edge.
And now look to the frost-heave at the edge.
How does life hold? The branchlet and blood-bowl?
It holds the shape of the rock, sheathes the edge.
The dark-phase gyrfalcon mantles her prey.
Crowberries glow; amber eve at the edge.
In the plain of stone and sand grief takes hold.
There glacial rivers blue-sleeve to the edge.
How to hear pipe and wail from birds circling?
Wing and entrails burnt—cerise at the edge.
Table-land is set with stone lichen nets.
Rust-brown rosettes, goblets sheave at the edge.
Green luster of meltwater enfolds ice;
Skeins of aurora, reprieve from the edge.
Let grey ash imprison the horizon.
Light and pink gentian in-weave at the edge.
Does grief give way? Perhaps not. But enter—
A land of chambered ice—reeved to the edge.
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