John G. Kelley’s photography explores the openness and expanses of the Maine Coast and the American West. Asked to describe his approach, Kelley quotes author Gretel Ehrlich, who in her collection of beautiful essays, The Solace of Open Spaces, writes, “Space represents sanity, not a life purified, dull, or ‘spaced-out’ but one that might accommodate intelligently any idea or situation.”
Through the creation of his images, Kelley has found photography represents something additional: a path to keeping an open mind. “Sometimes I approach a scene in anticipation of a certain combination of light and atmosphere,” he says. “But nature usually has an idea unlike the one in my head. It creates different and more beautiful expressions and leads me to break through what I want to see and open to simply what is. It’s those experiences I share.”
John’s work was included in the Portland Museum of Art’s 2011 Biennial. His work has appeared in solo and group shows in various Maine galleries. John lived in the Portland area for 23 years before recently relocating to the Wood River Valley in south-central Idaho.
“I love to wander along beaches, atop coastal headlands, up mountains, across plains – any place I find openness and plenty of space,” he says. “The pace suits me and gears my mind to watching days unfold, weather billow and light wash across the land and sky.”