Working in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sam Barrow captures the vitality of his country’s natural environment through crisp, pristine digital photographs. Barrow draws from his interests in jazz piano, architecture, and science to create ethereal compositions that blur the distinctions between heaven and earth. His works are not documentations of place, but rather renderings of the incorporeal mysteries inscribed in landscapes. Working intuitively, he transmutes the intangible spirituality of the terrain into atmospheric photographs that reveal a universe more dynamic and alive than our daily experiences allow us to perceive.
In Night Watch #3, Barrow photographs a scene juxtaposing the solemn desolation of the earthly world with the magnificent unknown of the cosmos. He captures an abandoned, graffitied structure perched on a weedy hill, its decrepitude a sign of human neglect. However, in the skies above swirl a myriad of stars, the clouds and the moon working in unison to create an energetic aura of unseen wonder. Waiting for the perfect weather conditions to slowly reveal themselves, Barrow relays the moment in which a forlorn topography transforms into a harmonious vista, and in that instant, exposes unseen truths that exist beyond the illusory world.