Phoneography Challenge: Nature

For this week’s phoneography challenge by Sally at Lens and Pens, I’m submitting a photo of an intriguing painting by Cody Erickson, which explores the complex relationship between man and nature.   Cody Erickson’s work, “Consolation” was selected as an Art Prize 2013 entry by the Grand Rapids Art Museum.   In the artist’s words, “…the landscape serves as a stage. On this stage, the relationships between how one’s leisure defines oneself and a culture are displayed …”  I especially love the winter colors contrasted against the white snow and the hunter’s dramatic pose–part watchful, part reflective.

Cody Erickson, "Consolation."  Art Prize 2013 entry at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI.

Cody Erickson, “Consolation.” Art Prize 2013 entry at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI.

Even after living in Michigan for several years, we are still struck by the role that hunting plays in the Midwest culture.   A tradition passed down from generation to generation, hunting serves as a rite of passage for sons and daughters.  More than a skill, it is a point of pride for many people and also helps define their identity.

Cody Erickson is a contemporary fine artist who earned a MFA from Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He is also a part-time professor of figure drawing at College of Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan, where he earned a MFA.  To learn more about his work, click here.

Categories: Photography

18 replies »

      • P.R. has no hunting at all. We have no game birds other that mere chickens and maybe pigeons but even those are not “hunted”. P.R. is a small island and all meat is consumed by either local beef industries or poultry farms. Now they pretend to “hunt” the Green Iguana, and many have been killed, but I don’t think P.R. has a hunting culture simply because of how small it is, and also there’s not a 2nd amendment here either. There is a lot of crime over drugs; that’s another story; but not animal hunting like in the U.S..

        I see this image got different responses from the viewers. I actually see it as a critique on hunting. For me it shows the euphoric hunter, but laying on the ground, absolutely defenseless and vulnerable. It’s a very thought provoking image; yet it leaves one wondering, why the vulnerability and surrender? It is a critique of us humans (although I don’t hunt), and the will for power and dominion over the environment can leave one defenseless. And even though he has the rifle on his chest, his hand is not on the trigger either. The other hand is barely supporting the rifle. The will for power and control is exhaustive business, or do you think it’s a “Consolation”, as it’s titled?


  1. That’s a fascinating painting, and is a thought-provoking commentary on the gun culture in our country. It seems that he is contemplating nature, which I always think is antithetical to hunting. But it is not necessarily the reality. I know people who revere nature and have guns but do not hunt. Hunting seems to miss the point of meandering through nature, especially in the 21st century. I know many disagree. Happy Phoneography Challenge.


    • Hi Sally. It is fascinating, isn’t it? I know people who revere nature and hunt; others feel the same but they’d never pick up a gun. Thanks for your perceptive insights–as always!


  2. Hunting is a very volatile topic for many people. Hunting is one good way to control animal populations that no longer have predators. In the city where natural predators for deer are non-existent, except for cars, there has to be controlled hunting by snipers. Many people who hunt respect nature and animals but play a part in that control. But generally only the jerks make the headlines. 🙂



    • Thanks for your thoughts, Archita! I agree. It is a deep relationship, but it is evolving…I hope from one of human domination over nature to a more respectful relationship!!


  3. I am completely in favor of hunting if the animal is consumed on all levels. The bigger impact for me is the artist Cody Erickson. Moved to tears. I keep trying to find even a stroke. Amazing.


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