“C. Geoffrey Baker’s landscapes of northeastern Ohio and northwestern Michigan expand our understanding of what Henri Cartier-Bresson called his quest for ‘the decisive moment’. If Cartier-Bresson’s great subject was form, Baker’s is light – most often, first light.” – Charles Michener (former Senior Editor, The New Yorker and Newsweek)
C. Geoffrey Baker, Cleveland, Ohio
A fine art photographer specializing in landscapes of Northeast Ohio and Northwestern Michigan. He personally prints each photograph using only the highest quality pigment inks and acid free papers. His images are available as limited editions through Still Point Gallery or the website.
His last solo exhibit, at the invitation of the Holden Arboretum and entitled simply “Still Point”, commemorated the annual Arbor Day celebration. With the recent acquisition of Cleveland’s Botanical Garden, Holden is this country’s largest arboretum and botanical garden. An earlier solo exhibit, “Northern Ohio, Still” was held at the Butler Institute of Fine Art in 2011; those images, as well as selected ones from northern Michigan, are available in his recently published book, “The Way Home” (includes an introductory essay, “Seizing the Day”, by Charles Michener, (former Senior Editor, The New Yorker and Newsweek). Each copy is hand-signed and available in the gallery or may be ordered by mail.
“The Way Home” Collector’s Edition of 100 (11″x14.5″)
Artist’s Statement from The Butler Institute of American Art
“Northeast Ohio, Still”
“At the still point of the turning world . . . at the still point, there the dance is . . . ” T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton
The “nature” of Northeast Ohio – not only its landscapes and our orientation to them, but its resoluteness – has provided me with excellent opportunity to explore the important dimension of stillness in photography.
The terms, “still” and “stillness,” are problematic: as they evoke experiences of silence and serenity, they may also imply a sense of stasis, a state existing outside the world of movement and change. However, what I have hoped to communicate in the title and theme of this exhibition is stillness in the context of motion – stillness as continuity, as a point of reference. This is the stillness that centers life, that allows us to order our relationships to a turbulent world. Each of the images chosen here is intended in some way to elucidate the meaning of a “still point” through the photographic process.
Returning continually to the same places each year and each season, I have had the good fortune to experience almost every weather condition and light imaginable in this region, as well as its infinite range of sights, sounds, and smells. I believe that it is chiefly through this kind of intimacy with the environment that the world is “stilled” as I look through the camera’s viewfinder. During these moments, moving from one world into another (or perhaps simply deeper into the first), all is suspended – sound, motion, even time. Paradoxically, the scenery never ceases to change, as changes remain constant.
Northeast Ohio’s landscapes at once reveal time and transcend it, and they still survive. The Butler Institute and the community of Youngstown have long embodied the elements I hope to illustrate through my photography. Youngstown is still here, and the Butler continues to serve as a “still point,” ordering our worlds and steadying us during the hardship of recent decades.