“I was creating my own world . . . with the awe of a child”
In addition to her indispensable book, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson also wrote a beautiful homage to the child’s imagination called The Sense of Wonder. Among the most crucial concerns in this book is Carson’s wish for all children “a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
Mike Jackson‘s series, The Child’s Landscape, evokes that exact sense of wonder. I had no idea, when I first came across these photographs, that Jackson’s cliffs and mountains and icebergs were not exactly what they seemed: monstrous outcrops of real stone and ice out there in the real ocean. But even when you learn about Jackson’s process, the images become no less real. In fact, they become “more real.” The child in me, as Jackson says, “can almost smell the sea, feel the rain lashing your face, hear the screaming gulls in the wind.”
Jackson explains the ideas at work behind The Child’s Landscape below. Be sure to check out his short film at the end of this post. And stay tuned for the second part of our Jackson feature, coming soon.