Joe Cornish Wild Remains

Joe Cornish

Wild Remains

Exhibition 11th June – 27th July 2024
Artist Reception and Book Signing at Photiq Saturday 20th July

Artist Statement
In 1991 I was the official photographer on an expedition to Alaska. This embedded in me a love of wild places and wilderness that has never faded. Yet home is the UK, a small nation with a large population, a long, complex history… and hardly any wilderness. As the years have passed and our environmental discourse has grown more urgent my focus has become those marginal but still beautiful landscapes that retain a spirit of wildness about them. On beach and headland, in woodland, on moor and mountain – where birds and wild animals can thrive – I find solace, a sense of renewal, and hope for the future. In spite of everything, the wild remains, and reminds us of Thoreau’s famous line, “In Wildness is the preservation of the world.”

Landscape photographers have played a role in the preservation and restoration of wild places since the late 19th century, when Carleton Watkins was part of the advocacy movement that brought about National Park status for Yosemite valley and its surrounding sierra. Photographers like Ansel Adams, Peter Dombrovskis (in Tasmania) and more recently Edward Burtynsky have inspired us to act in order to save threatened nature, or to react in horror when we discover what is being done to provide us with our comfortable 21st century ways of life.

In a world where many of us feel powerless to make a difference, it is therapeutic to be able to make a personal statement through an artistic practice. Mine is a search for beauty, for connection, for a feeling that we are all part of the natural world, and that we belong. For humanity to be able to prosper in the future we must repair our broken relationship with nature and learn to preserve and revere wilderness, and regenerate landscapes that have been drained, deforested, and contaminated wherever we can. In spite of the anthropocentric crises of war, economic and political instability the greatest crises of our time are the climate emergency and habitat destruction.

Although doom and gloom overshadows public discussion on the environment, my own time outdoors inspires me to believe that nature is extraordinarily resilient, and given enough time and space, will return in its amazing, changing diversity and beauty. My photographs are simply a reminder that the Wild Remains.

Joe Cornish
June 2024

Joe-Cornish-Portrait-by-Alex-Fisherfield .jpg

Artist Biography
A working photographer since 1980, Joe Cornish is based in North Yorkshire and has devoted the last three decades to landscape photography, especially in the north of England and Scotland. His work is divided between large scale commissions, workshops, writing, and speaking on landscape photography and the arts.

His landscape photography translates a sense of connection with the natural world through texture and colour, space and light. Joe is a renowned thinker on the role of photography with a strong emphasis on the global environment, and has written countless articles, many appearing in On Landscape, which he helped co-found.

An honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, he was first Chair of the Landscape Distinctions panel. Recent books include Scotland’s Mountains; Scotland’s Coast; The Northumberland Coast; This Land; Capability Brown; Humphry Repton; Woodland Sanctuary (with Simon Baxter); Still Time to Wonder (on Fountains Abbey).