Sami Artist Statement


In Peruvian Quechua, “sami” is a term that translates to “refined energy” and is used as a name for the life force that inhabits and connects everything.

In this photographic series titled Sami (2002-11), life-sized black and white portraits are juxtaposed with large-scale colour images of skies in order to compare humanity to nature, micro to macro, and private internal life to external force.

This series is a personal diary documenting the places I’ve been, the life stages I’ve passed through, the ones I may enter, and where I am at present. The photographs were taken in numerous countries around the world including Peru and my homeland, Canada.

Because the photographs capture a moment in the life of their subjects, they reflect time, the surface layer of reality. The stillness of the portraits imply inner depth while the skyscapes trap movement. Seen together, the photographs evoke a larger picture of life’s constant shift between calm and action, showing stillness as the face of contrast and change, unsettled and uncertain.

Pedro Isztin

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