Sawdust Mountain: Photographs by Eirik Johnson at Aperture Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- A culmination of four years photographing throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northern California, Eirik Johnson’s Sawdust Mountain focuses on the tenuous relationship between industries reliant upon natural resources and the communities they support. Timber and salmon are the bedrock of a regional Northwest identity, but the environmental impact of these industries has been increasingly at odds with the contemporary ideal of sustainability. In this exhibition, and accompanying book of the same title (published by Aperture last year), Eirik Johnson reveals a landscape imbued with an uncertain future—no longer the region of boomtowns built upon the riches of massive old growth forests.
Johnson, a Seattle native, describes his photographs as “a melancholy love letter of sorts, my own personal ramblings.” Through this poetic approach, Sawdust Mountain records a region affected by historic economic complexities and, by extension, aspects of our fraught relationship with the environment in the twenty-first century.
Eirik Johnson (born in Seattle, 1974) is currently based in Boston, MA. His work has been exhibited at venues that include the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; and the George Eastman House in Rochester. He has received several awards including the Santa Fe Prize in 2005; and a William J. Fulbright Grant to Peru in 1999-2000. His first monograph, Borderlands, was published by Twin Palms Publishers in 2005. Erik Johnson is represented by G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, and Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco. Johnson is an assistant professor of photography at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.