Portland is one of the West Coast's major centers of creative photography and the vibrancy of this photographic community is inspiring. I extend a warm invitation to all photographers and friends of photography to attend the reception of "Translucent Realities: Recent Work by John Wimberley," at Camerawork Gallery. 2255 NW Northrup St. Portland on December 1, 2007, from 2 - 4pm. All of the photographs were made at First Nation rock art sites in the Great Basin area of the United States, including Southeastern Oregon. They show rock engravings called petroglyphs that were made by shamans from 200 to 12,000 years ago. This is a rare opportunity to see this ancient rock art, as all of the sites depicted are closed to the public.
Although I am known primarily as a landscape photographer, for the past eight years I have visited hundreds of rock art sites in Oregon, Nevada and the Mojave Desert of California, making more than four thousand 5x7 negatives. Each site visited has deepened my respect and admiration for the people who lived here so long ago. They existed lightly on the earth, maintaining a delicate ecological balance with their environment and showing impressive cultural stability over the long term.
The most poignant surviving evidence of their existence and approach to life is in their rock art. "Translucent Realities" is a tribute to those people and their intrepid shamans.
Teri & John Wimberley