Joseph Wilson’s photography career spans more than 30 years. Influenced early in his career by the photographer Ansel Adams. Today he continues to pursue a technical and aesthetic mastery of large format landscape photography. His love of the magnificent landscapes and intimate details of the American wilderness was born on his first trip to Zion National Park in 1989 as he describes below:
“I can still vividly recall the crisp Autumn morning that began my journey into landscape photography. During my senior year of college and after a brief visit to Las Vegas, I decided to visit the surrounding areas of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. Late afternoon, my girlfriend and I left Vegas and drove 170 miles to Utah’s Zion National Park. We arrived at the park entrance late and decided to drive to a trailhead (Temple of Sinawava) and wait for sunrise. After a brief sleep, we wrapped together in a blanket and sat on the hood of the car. We watched the first golden rays of morning light illuminate the massive monolith called the Great White Throne and descend onto the roaring waters of the Virgin River. The beauty was almost indescribable, spiritual. For the next two days, we camped, hiked, explored, and photographed Zion Park. I reflect back on that moment as an epiphany. I realized I was viewing the land in its purest form, untouched and undefiled by man.
Over the past thirty years, I have learned that my photography is a visual voice for the majesty, beauty, and grace of our land. I approach my artwork with humility and thanksgiving as I visually communicate the interconnectedness all living things share with our planet. It is a universal language that transcends religion, nationalities, economic status, and allows the viewer to look through the creator’s eyes at the beginning. The energy that drives my photography is captured by the eloquent writings of Chief Seattle. In1854, he wrote:
‘This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.’
Ultimately, I hope that my photography will inspire individuals to explore their own relationship with the natural world and to realize our need for peaceful coexistence with the land and its effects on our own creative spirit. Journeys into the wilderness can be journeys into our souls where we unchain ourselves from the tensions of our everyday lives and see as a child sees. With that knowledge and wisdom, we begin to live.”
In honor of land, light, water, wind, and spirit,
Joseph Wilson, Jr.
Soli Deo Gloria
© 2019 Joseph Wilson Gallery