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Artist Page - Bill Jackson

Bill Jackson, Rheingold, 2015, Archival Pigment Print, 15”x16”


Bill Jackson’s monotonic photographs of planar grasslands and reedy ponds are extraordinary studies of atmospheric natural landscape. His well ordered compositions, centered on strong horizontal masses, capture a mood of peaceful serenity and harmony of early morning light. By isolating the dark foliage of reeds beneath the effulgent brightness of a shining sky, a double image of the subject and its reflected shadow gives maximum emphasis to the linear contours of the central dark solid form. The sharp focus of slender reeds set against the softening periphery os sky and water are desaturated in what pioneering photographer Peter Henry Emerson described as “differential focusing.” Jackson’s frieze-like compositions perfectly balance long-leaf reed shafts of marshlands with the surrounding negative space. These fragile bird and animal habitats, with their narrow bending diagonals, radiate a paradox of energy and stasis, but tend more toward contemplation than emotion.

Robert Metzger