Statement for The Woodland exhibited at Lubeznik Center for the Arts (in What Is Left Unspoken)
The Woodland directly integrates natural materials into the technical process of making photographic imprints. I am interested in the connotations of branches as physical objects and the symbolic associations of their forms. Familiar as branches are to most people, I wanted to see if they become more or less recognizable when multiplied over many exposures. The resulting photographs and photograms are recordings of overlapping singular moments where natural materials briefly interacted in the space atop the photo paper or film. In this sense the photograms can be regarded as a still frame of a “scene” that never actually existed.
Another thread of The Woodland is the human induced breakdown of forms and representation via photographic imagery. Prints are crumpled, distressed, and wrinkled. Actual pulped wood is used in the paper making process but the branch image is only a flat referent (in pigment) of the object photographed. As the works become further abstracted or sculptural they change from passive reflections into a form of collaboration in creating meaning.
Lastly, I wanted to work with these forms in sync with the seasons of fall and winter. During these seasons the forms are exposed to the elements without the cover of leaves and revealed to the humans living amongst them. Bringing the branches into my studio practice as well as exhibiting this work during early spring when branches are still bare allows me a glimpse at human psychology relative to this life form and iconic symbol.