Charles Lindsay

Fellow: Awarded 2010

Field of Study: Photography

Competition: US & Canada


Charles Lindsay's career trajectory advances from scientist, adventurer, photojournalist, and environmental activist to now working as an artist exploring a unique photographic process of his own invention.  He has a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and speaks conversational Japanese, Indonesian, and Mentawai.  For Twenty-five years he has photographed at the interface between culture and nature.  Lindsay has published seven books of photographs.  His work has been seen in numerous international magazines and has been profiled on CNN International and NHK Japan.  He also plays an electric cello transformed by electronics and mixed with digitally processed animal recordings, which he records in the wild.  These sound explorations have become essential to his process and installations.

The CARBON project, for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, is a photographic exploration into abstraction and the unknown.  It combines his interest in the aesthetics of space exploration, microscopic discovery, and abstract symbols.  Lindsay is intrigued by the idea that so much of our expanding sceintific knowledge is based on images from beyond our normal scope of vision.

Artist's Statement

I applied for a Guggenheim Fellowship in order to research and develop my cameraless process further in conjunction with new technologies.  I am interested in the implications of understanding our relative scale within the universe.  The early works were monochromatic.  I am now using intense colors, which on the black ground appear much as bioluminescent creatures do in the deep ocean or as current imaging depicts our universe.  Through this fellowship I plan to realize a number of large multi-panel backlit pieces.  The wall-size photographs printed on prepared fabric are built as composites.  I will pursue these further as well.  My ultimate goal is to create entire environments with photographs, videos, and sound.

Spouse: Catherine Chalmers, Guggenheim Fellow in Video & Audio, 2010