Lincoln City’s Chessman Gallery will make something of a splash this Friday, Jan. 11, when it unveils “Imaging Time,” a new exhibit from Oregon Coast photographer Ralph Elliott.

The show will open with a public reception from 5 to 7 pm, offering wine, light refreshments and cake to celebrate Elliott’s birthday.

“Imaging Time” is the result of a three-year project that saw Elliott focus on water and immersed-object images, creating ephemeral landscapes that emphasize action, event, process and time.

“My goal was to train my eye to look, not at objects per se, but instead at the objects embedded in time,” he said. “I attempted to create images that capture not only the single instant of an event, but that also suggest time — a history and a future beyond the frame of the event itself in terms of location, action, process or state of being.”

Elliott said he found himself drawn to water by the way it mirrors the motion and change of the natural world, changing constantly over timescales measured in seconds to seasons, from hours to eons.

He said every image in the show captures a specific event, focusing on the intersection between the elements of the scene and the forces at work on those elements.

“This gives me a vision of an event as an occurrence rather than as an unchanging material reality,” he said. “It trains my eye to see normal landscapes as responses to the forces acting upon them. Objects then appear as they do because of their relationship to the forces at play around them, illuminating a dynamic rather than a static landscape.”

Elliot said that presenting images that are ambiguous or less than complete calls for a creative response by the observer.

“If, by your acts of vision and imagination, you infer a sense of story or meaning, I have succeeded in transmitting my understanding of the world around us,” he said, “the understanding that the only constant is change.”

“Imaging Time” runs through Monday, Feb. 4, available to view from 10 am to 4 pm Thursday through Monday at the Chessman Gallery, located inside the Lincoln City Cultural Center at 540 NE Hwy. 101.

For more information, call 541-994-9994 or go to www.lincolncity-culturalcenter.org.

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