Lost America examines a quiet stillness in a forgotten landscape that is, in a sense: ‘on-pause’.
Backwater towns and rural corners are juxtaposed against the ambiguity of isolated suburbia. Spaces appear frozen in time, their inhabitants sparse or long since departed. Ardently stagnant and purposefully unremarkable in their appearance, the images aim to unlock a moment of reflective contemplation and instil a melancholic feeling of familiarity. This is the everyday landscape of America; the hum drum. Lost in a way that they are so ordinary, we may not even notice them at all.
About Matthew Portch
Growing up in the seventies in England, it was actually the escapism of American culture through television and film that became an attraction to me. In every backdrop was an exotic and colourful, urban landscape that was an immediate antidote to the normality of the English, every day life. Much of America’s hidden sprawl still appears to be locked in that vintage.
Over the past few decades, the country has witnessed innumerable burdens including industrial redundancy, economic crisis, natural disasters, terrorism and paranoia. The result of which can be interpreted in a multifarious landscape. Some places have become a worn-out reminder of when America was building itself a brighter future. Adversely to this, many corners of the landscape have thrived, displaying antithetical wealth and comfort; and for those, secluded in their untouchable hamlets, everything is just as it should be.
In the study of the subject and terrain, I aim to focus on clean, graphic aspects. This habitually stems from my background in graphic design. I shoot using a fully mechanical, technical camera with precision optics and a digital back. When I photograph a scene, I capture everything in focus from foreground to background: given the theme is so sombre, the detail of the capture is just as important as the subject and becomes a character of the image in itself.
I use the full-size of the sensor and never crop. I like to restrict myself to these disciplines as the one austere part of the image process – a digital reverence to the era of large format photography where detail also played a major contributing factor to the scene. [Official Website]