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Beckham Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts
by Andrew Beckham
with an introduction by Blake L. Milteer

The transient nature of our place in the world has long been an abiding artistic concern of Andrew Beckham. Whether he stands firmly on the ground or star-gazes into the heavens, Beckham, through the frame of his camera, tries to answer questions that have accompanied human life over the millennia: How do we know where and when we fit in the scheme of Life? How do we find a meaningful place for ourselves within Nature? Is one place more or less important than another for contemplating the eternal questions of "Who am I?" and "What am I doing here?"

In constructing "visual poems" that include single images as well as visual montages of sequenced photographs, Beckham tries to reconcile these questions by focusing on the synchronicity between the mundane and the infinite. By presenting these images as a new kind of "visual storytelling," Beckham juxtaposes the varying scales of photographic inquiry, from the private spaces near our homes to the expanding and unknowable universe.

Firmament is a meditation on place unlike any other. In Portfolio I, Beckham discovers a unique stretch of land, one square-mile in Bear Creek Canyon near his home, where a curious sense of visual order is achieved amongst the chaos of impenetrable bramble and thick woods. For the artist, this is ground incarnate. In Portfolio II, Beckham explores a landscape so wide and vast that space can hardly be contained within the frame of his camera. Here, in the 20,000 square miles known as the Sand Hills, Beckham discovers a place where land and sky meet and often merge within a virtual sea of rolling prairie grassland. In Portfolio III, Beckham turns to the "incalculable distance" between the heavens and Earth, between grounded experience and infinite space. Here, Beckham's artistry is revealed in a visual assemblage of his own photographic work merged with the cosmologies of centuries-old star charts.

In viewing Andrew Beckham's work, we see depth and beauty, serenity and enlightenment, and we gain a certain reassurance that there is something greater than ourselves when we contemplate the universe with a sense of reverence and even awe. We also come to realize that we have a sacred duty to understand and respect our individual place within the world, so that we may take better care of that which we have come to know, no matter how small or large the scale.

Won the 2014 Colorado Book Award in the Pictorial category.
Book nominated for a 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award.

$50.00 U.S. (trade discount) No e-book has been authorized.
ISBN: 978–1–938086–13–7

$75.00 U.S. (short discount)
(A signed and numbered edition of 100)
ISBN: 978–938086–15–1

110 pages
12.0" x 10.0"
48 duotone photographs, including three foldouts

Published in October 2013

Distributed by Casemate/IPM
No e-book has been authorized.

Andrew Beckham Photography

About the Author and the Essayist

Book Events and Exhibitions:
June 9, 2018
Buffalo Peaks Ranch Workshop
Finding the Cosmos in the Bramble: A Photographic Study of Seeds, Stars and Sedges

June 24 - Sept. 16, 2018
Three photos from Firmament will be in New Territory: Landscape Photography Today
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO

November 6, 2015 - January 16, 2016
Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, CO
Firmament: An Incalculable Distance

January 10–February 22, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, January 10th, 5–8pm
Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, CO
Andrew Beckham: Firmament

Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2pm
Book signing and conversation
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Steamboat Springs, CO

Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 2pm
Author talk and book signing
Tattered Cover Bookstore, Historic LoDo location, Denver, CO

Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2pm
Artist's talk and book signing, with Andrew Beckham and Chief Curator, Blake Milteer
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO

August 24–December 1, 2013
Andrew Beckham: Firmament
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO

March 1–April 12, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1st, 6–9pm
Walker Fine Art, Denver, CO
National Month of Photography in conjunction with Month of Photography Denver

BeckhamDAMAndrew Beckham with Barb Hirokawa Gal, Past President of the Colorado Art Educator's Association and a founding member of ArtSource Colorado. (Photo credit: Mckenzie Chandler)

Slide Show:
Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts

Book Information Sheet (pdf)


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