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LAND–AS–HOME: ARCTIC, DESERT, FOREST

Subhankar Banerjee’s ongoing Arctic and Desert series simply address two things, home and food that land provides to humans and to all the other species with whom we share this earth. In 2014, he started photographing the forests (terrestrial and near–shore marine) in the Olympic Peninsula, not far from his home along the Salish Sea. With the three series moving along, he hopes to build a framework—land–as–home—of survival for all species on earth.

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ARCTIC SERIES

Subhankar’s Arctic series began in 2000 with a desire to live with polar bears in the wild. Over the years his many romantic ideas were shattered, and his vision has since evolved into a visual exploration of the Arctic’s connection to larger global issues such as, resource wars, climate change, toxic migration, and human rights struggles of the northern indigenous communities. His ongoing collaboration with environmental organizations and the Gwich’in and Iñupiat communities of Arctic Alaska focus on a tradition of sustainable land use practices that are disappearing rapidly from industrialized societies. Subhankar’s Arctic photography includes several regions of the Arctic: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Teshekpuk Lake Wetlands, Utukok River Uplands, Kasegaluk Lagoon, Beaufort and Chukchi seas; Yukon province of Canada; and Sakha Republic of Siberia. In 2012, Subhankar’s most recent book, an anthology he edited, ARCTIC VOICES: RESISTANCE AT THE TIPPING POINT was published (New York: Seven Stories Press, hardcover 2012; paperback 2013). In 2015, his Arctic photographs will be shown at the Nottingham Contemporary in the UK, in the exhibition, RIGHTS OF NATURE, ART, ECOLOGY AND THE AMERICAS.

DESERT SERIES

Subhankar’s Desert series began in 2006 with a desire to know where he lives. Over the years he walked in about a five–mile radius around his suburban home in New Mexico. In the process he became a detective of the desert and realized that the desert ecosystem, the piñon–juniper woodland along with cholla cactuses supports an incredible diversity of wildlife and has also sustained indigenous communities over many millenia. During the first decade of the 21st century scientists started to define the piñon–juniper woodland as an old–growth forest. However, due to recent global warming the old–growth piñon forest in New Mexico is mostly dead—fifty five million piñons, 90% of all mature piños, New Mexico’s state tree died between 2001 and 2005. In 2011, his Desert series was introduced with a solo exhibition, WHERE I LIVE I HOPE TO KNOW, at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth (May 14–August 28), and in a group exhibition, EARTH NOW: AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe (April 8–August 28). In 2012 and 2014, work from his Desert series were shown at the LANNAN FOUNDATION GALLERY, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.