Taken on a beach in La Jolla, California, Ron Erskine’s photograph displays an amply-barnacled underbelly of a pier that recedes into the horizon. The photograph is titled Scripps Pier.
Erskine entered Scripps Pier into Exhibitions Without Walls’ Strong & Powerful Competition. Aptly named, the competition centers around finding the image that best portrays the words “strong” and “powerful.”
Erskine’s photograph was up against over 300 images from photographers and digital artists around the world, including France, Australia, Madagascar, Israel, and Japan.
The competition was structured into two rounds of judging: first to select the top 23, and then 11 Awards of Excellence, 2nd place, 3rd place and the “Best in Competition.” After both rounds of the global competition, Scripps Pier won the top coveted award.
The image is a paragon of strength and power. It shows the battleground between two formidable forces: the natural world of storm and ocean and the engineered stone of the pier. The ceaseless sea serves as a symbol of the perpetually beating pulse of the world. The effect is impactful.
Despite the constant wave crashing, the succession of stone columns is firmly rooted into the beach. The base of these columns is encrusted with black, shelled organisms and weather stains that serve as a memorandum of the age and strength of the structure.
The receding line of stone, like an army of legs, culminates in a stable, perfect rectangular opening: human design reigning over chaos.