Robert Welkie

Fabrik Projects / Robert Welkie

Artist Statement

We are now in a new epoch, the Anthroposcene, where man’s influence on the planet is an important geological consideration. It is an epoch that starts at the time of the nuclear testing of the 1950’s. Humans blanketed the whole planet in a sedimentary layer of radioactivity. Carbon dating will tell if something happened in the Holocene or the Anthropocene.
I call the work Anthroposcenic Photography. That is my word made from the words Anthropocene and scenic. I am looking for what is beautiful in the transition to the Anthropocene. The work draws on the traditions of scenic painting and photography of the past.
The Anthroposcenic images are grouped in four families. Clouds, Animals, Fire, and American Anthropocene.


Clouds are our most visual representation of weather. As it is the weather, or rather the climate that threatens us. Climate is the long exposure of weather.
When I presented at the American Aesthetics Society in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2017, I drew a reference to the work of Alfred Stieglitz, because through his relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe he was tied to the location. He was also tied to clouds. His work entitled Equivalences changed photography, in that it explored mind states similar to the way expressionism in painting was doing at the time.
Stieglitz and his work, followed mechanisation and was before the nuclear age. It was an age where there was room for the exploration of the self and it’s the relationship to the world. Room for deep thoughts and poetic realisations about the resonance of clouds and the world of inner existence.
His were images of clouds that he associated with moods, thoughts, and feelings. The new field of psychology paired with the expressionist movement was likely a part of his thinking.
In my time the, the transition to the Antropocene, art can be less about the internal musings of the human relationship to nature. But more about the relationship of humans to nature.
My clouds are first about clouds. A description of specific clouds. From there they can unfold in meaning.
My work is about a love for, and response to the environment. The work is part of an exploration and conversation questioning our relationship to the Earth.
The images are about thoughts. Any image is thought about. If it is an image it invokes or evokes thought. That is the delight and danger of images. But an image about thought folds in and out on itself.

The search for beauty in art ebbs and flows. I think the time is now for beauty in art, and finding beauty in nature.


January 24, 2018