Jessica Lin is a Toronto-based photographer and artist with a love of travel and adventure. While traveling in France in 2008, she discovered her creative passion for photographing new and different places. Trips to Ireland, England, Scotland, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Japan, Cuba and the southern U.S. have allowed her to build up a library of images capturing these other worlds. Jessica extracts elements from her various photographs and recomposes them to create images with surreal layers, and turn places into fantasies. She created her first collection in 2012 using images from her trip to France.In a more recent collection, Jessica explores landscapes closer to home, using photographs from many trips to Algonquin Park as well as two road trips out to the Maritime Provinces. The results are vast landscapes with magical skies – images that feel at once very familiar and very mysterious.
My current body of work is abstract landscape photography. I
extract elements from photographs that I’ve taken while travelling, camping, or even just going about my day-to-day life, and recompose them to result in a finished image that is recognizably a landscape, but also includes layers of texture and colour in ways not found in reality.
I developed this process because I was unsatisfied with the record of events and places that photography traditionally provides. Having been a professional commercial and portrait photographer since 2000, I took a trip to France in 2008 to reconnect with what it was that I loved about photography in the first place. This 3-week trip blew my mind and completely changed my life, but the photographs I took while there didn’t come close to expressing that. After a few years of considering how to solve this problem, I began to use parts of different images to embellish each other and heighten the sense of wonder in the resulting piece. While traveling and photographing continue to be essential parts of my process, equally important to me is how I use elements from those images to create artwork that more fully express my personal experience of that time and place, or of my life in general. By researching different places and cultures before visiting, interacting with local people while there, and journaling to record my experiences and thoughts, I gather a wide variety of impressions to inspire the artwork I’ll create from the photographs I’ve taken.
Because these are all photographs from my own life experiences, the artwork is very biographical and even a self-portrait in some cases, in spite of being a landscape image. Most pieces contain parts from 5-10 different photographs, often varying widely in terms of when and where these images were taken. The layering technique creates a visual puzzle – viewers often comment on the meditative or hypnotic experience of losing themselves in one of my pieces – both engaging to the mind and freeing to the imagination.
Throughout these pieces, the cycles of nature and the interconnectedness of everything (and everyone) are strong themes. I aim to create images that look like memories of how it feels to be in a certain place or time of your life, rather than how it looks to be in a specific place. By bringing out the magical in everyday objects and surroundings, I hope to enhance the viewer's appreciation of the world around them.