2525 4th Avenue Rock Island, IL 61201
Throughout the month of August, we will feature the work of Christopher Legel. His biography is below.
Though I was born in Clinton, IA, I chose to begin my college experience at Arizona State University. I have always loved adventure stories, and at the time I was looking for a radical change both in environment and experience. While there I grew to love the desert Southwest, especially places such as Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona, and had the great fortune to meet and study under Sarah Capawana, a photographer who worked as an assistant to Ansel Adams near the end of his life. Eventually I returned to the Midwest to finish my bachelor’s degree in Art at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and for the last 17 years I have taught graphic arts and photography at Clinton Community College.
This series springs from an image I captured in the fall of 2015. The included photo, Cascade, was made from the scar left behind where a large branch had been torn from one of the old oak trees lining the road through Eagle Point Park. The broken wood reminded me of a crumbling cliff face, and I was suddenly pulled back to both my childhood love of adventure and the time I spent rambling around the Arizona mountains and desert. However, I was especially drawn to the beautiful, expressive, and malleable quality of the damaged tree.
Since Cascade was made I have been developing this adventure series (while discussing the images with friends and family I jokingly refer to them as my Walter Mitty series) using the materials I have readily at hand – close-ups of damaged trees. I try to frame the images and name them so they convey the same spirit of adventure I myself see in them. I will deem this series a success if you the viewer can use them as a springboard for your own adventures. I won’t even tease you mutter the phrase “puppy biscuits” under your breath.