Gary Campbell “Espíritus Anónimos de América del Sur” @ Christine Klassen Gallery

During the past two decades Gary Campbell has been traveling and working in very remote parts of the world. As a result, he’s had the privilege to interact and photograph people he would otherwise never be able to engage with…

Gary shared his thoughts about his solo show “Espíritus Anónimos de América del Sur”

“I succumbed to the allure of photographing these often forgotten and endangered indigenous people of the the regions.

I am drawn to the strength, pride and dignity of the people;  to the willingness of them to share their rituals and allowing me the privilege of photographing them.

Setting up a makeshift studio in the villages allows me to remove my subjects from their immediate environments and photograph them against neutral backgrounds, to isolate them if you will. I want all attention focused on their presence; any other reference within the image I feel would be distracting.”

“Infused with light and shadow I make a conscious effort to place an emphasis on the relief of the face. The strength of the photograph lays in the emotional connection to the subject. I try to make bigger than life, the character and presence of the subject so that it is no longer possible for the viewer to remain indifferent.

It is important for me to capture the different and varied forms of ceremonial dress, hair,  body paintings and aesthetic adornments, Through the image they project, they are able to express and at the same time, preserve, traditions, identities and ways of life, to be passed on.”

“I invite the viewer to see and realize the varied materials and objects each culture has taken from their environment to reflect and identify who they are; to see people who still take great pride in struggling to maintaining their traditions and ways and are in no hurray to change.

I have a deep respect for the people I photograph: As thousand-year inhabitants of their land, they are profoundly wise. They are connected to  the beginning of time. Their souls are unmeasurable and they gleam eternal undisturbable peace. They hold the dignity and confidence of ancient trees.”