Ansley West Rivers’ Santa Elena Canyon, Rio Grande River, Big Bend National Park, Texas
Ansley West Rivers
40×50 inch archival pigment print
Dry mounted photograph 41×51 3/4 inch, framed
Edition: 2/7, unsigned
From West Rivers’ Seven Rivers project, the artist is photographing 7 instrumental rivers in North America from source to sea. This body of work is a portrait and environmental project seeking to both document how rivers impact our society while also revealing our emotional tie to our environment.
Seven Rivers is a series of constructed landscapes echoing the reality of civilizations impact on the earth, but also celebrating the beauty that exists even in the most fraught ecosystems. The history of water has woven its stories into my mine, complicating the landscapes I see with the ones I envision.
Six years ago, I gave myself an assignment to photograph seven rivers, the Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Columbia, Rio Grande, Tuolumne, Altamaha, and the Hudson, from source to sea.
As I witness the beauty, degradation and changes occurring on all rivers, I have come to view our watersheds with expanding emotion. The struggle to depict the complicated waterscapes has spurred new ways of photographing with my large format camera. I create compositions on each negative to portray an intimacy rather than documentation.
Ansley West Rivers is an artist whose photographic practice focuses on the intersection of landscape and humanity.
Her work is featured in many public and private collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, The Judge Collection, LaGrange Art Museum and The Mayo Collection. Additionally, West Rivers's work has been shown at the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art (San Francisco, CA), Sous Les Etoiles Gallery (New York, NY), Burrard Arts Foundation (Vancouver BC), EUQINOM Projects (San Francisco, CA), The Brower Center (Berkley, CA), Kala Art Institute (Berkley, CA), Carmel Visual Arts (Carmel, CA), Hathaway Gallery (Atlanta, GA), United Photo Industries (DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY), The Print Center (Philadelphia, PA), The Wiregrass Museum (Dothan, AL), and Laney Contemporary (Savannah, GA). West Rivers has an upcoming solo exhibition of Seven Rivers at the Telfair Academy of Art in Savannah, Georgia.
She received her BFA from the University of Georgia and MFA from the California College of the Arts. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Victor, Idaho.