Gallery Show: The Language of Rock

A new selection of my photos will be hanging in Mindport’s gallery for the next couple months. These images were collected on the Oregon Coast in the vicinity  of the towns of Gold Beach and Cannon Beach, where weathering clay and crumbling stone cliffs have deposited wide varieties and sizes of lithic artifacts on the beach. In other words, pebbles, rocks, stones, and boulders, many of them bearing markings betraying eons of geologic history.

Geology was one subject I studied for a full year during my time as a college freshman. For a period I thought I might care to take on geology  as a profession, but I realized eventually that my interest was not academic but aesthetic. Besides that, the oil industry is probably the greatest single employer of geologists, so I’m retrospectively grateful not to have made that choice, considering the recent depredations of that industry.

I find it difficult or impossible to articulate verbally what attracts me to geology, which is part of the point of these photographs. As you might be able to tell by looking at them, rocks speak to me metaphorically. Perhaps, having grown up as a military brat who moved every three years or less of my young life, I find reassuring the primordial permanence of geological structure, the knowledge that its character has been formed over millions of years of crushing, crumbling, melting, congealing, twisting, and folding through the actions of orogeny, wind, flood, and freezing. These forces all leave their marks on the face of mother earth which invite interpretation by my own imagination.

Kevin Jones