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Frank's Journey

I have for many years photographed the "social landscape" in the rural areas of the United States. My primary interest has been the interaction of man with the landscape through intentional and unintentional signs and symbols he has used to represent himself. For me, they combine with the ever-present and ever-changing symbols of nature to reveal an enigmatic picture of life. My subjects are the obscure and the transitory. They are not hidden, but they are seldom noticed by the passer-by.

These images are documentary photographs only in the sense that they present a highly detailed visual record of sometimes isolated areas and things. More importantly, these photographs give form to my visual impressions. I photograph for the sheer ecstasy I feel at that moment when the dialogue between myself and the subject reveals what Van Gogh called "a feeling for things in themselves." It is a passage from things seen to things known.

My involvement with the genre of landscape photography has been a life-long affair. Out and about in the landscape with my cameras is when I feel most connected to who I am. The land is always about a sense of place. Eudora Welty said of place: "Place is my source of knowledge. It tells me important things. It steers me and keeps me going straight, because place is a definer and confiner of what I'm doing. It helps recognize and explain. It does so much for you itself. It saves me. "

Frank Armstrong
February 2006

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