Philip Heying: A Survey of Elemental Gratitude
Philip Heying sees Kansas’ vast, rolling Flint Hills grasslands not only for what they are today but also the possibilities they hold for the future – one in which we learn from the landscape and those who inhabited it for thousands of years without destroying it.
The Kansas City native and 2022 Guggenheim Fellow conveys that promise through a collection of arresting, urgently beautiful photographs that comprise his exhibition Survey of Elemental Gratitude. The thought-provoking works display a wide range of settings, conditions, and scale, deepening our connection to the land and inspiring the imagination of new ways to relate to the prairie environment in the years, decades, and centuries ahead.
“I believe that this remnant of a once oceanic-scale ecosystem is rich with knowledge and metaphor that might, if persuasively and broadly communicated, allow new relationships, new systems of living, to be imaginable,” Heying says.
A graduate of the University of Kansas and former professor of photography at Johnson County Community College, Heying has exhibited his photographic works across the world since 1989. Several of his prints have been acquired by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Spencer Museum of Art.
He lives in Matfield Green, Kansas, amid the Flint Hills.