Nich Hance McElroy (b. 1985) is an American photographer based in Vancouver, BC. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Literature from St. John’s College (2009) and will earn a MA in English from the University of British Columbia in 2015. His photography has been published and exhibited in North America, Europe, and Australia, and work from Float Copper will be the subject of an upcoming solo show at Gallery 295 in Vancouver. Today we share his series Float Copper.
These photographs were made in the summer and fall of 2014, while traveling to, staying on, and returning from an island on Lake Superior. What was originally a project focused on migration, opened to my broader interests and thought processes: time, movement, and perception, particularly as played out in the landscape of the Northern United States and the towns adjacent to the island.
I’ve been referring to the work as “Float Copper,” which is a nod to the geology of the region in Northern Michigan where I was working, and refers to a strange, transitory phenomenon where pure copper is lifted, moved by glaciers, and set down, plain as day, in rivers, fields, and hillsides. The process of photographing is similar: we pick things up, carry them to different contexts, and set them down in new arrangements. While themes have emerged in the work, there is no prescriptive meaning or teleological path, just the capture and placement of things into new relationships, which inevitably create their own meanings. The project is still in progress, and I’ll return to the Keweenaw Peninsula in 2015 to continue the work.
To view more of Nich’s work, please visit his website.