Location: Montclair, NJ, United States
As a fine art photographer and trauma psychologist, my practices engage with painful aspects of contemporary life, such as racism, social injustice, and, most recently, the destruction of our environment. The earth is suffering significant damage, yet many of us are in denial, melancholic, or remain apathetic about its ongoing catastrophic losses. I create visual metaphors that represent both hope and dread and engage with the affective dimensions of these contemporary ecological issues, transforming emotions into awareness and activism.
Inspired by the seductive beauty of the Hudson River School painters, the photographs are, at first glance, pictorial and idyllic. I disrupt - through color shifts, rips, attaching and connecting photographic components with washi tape and photo corners - the expectation of landscape as continuing “as usual” to interrupt complacency. These additional elements transform the photograph into a layered material object, expanding traditional landscape photographs in form and content.
I see the earth falling apart as we lose fertile land, birds, rivers, trees, and glaciers. I want to put things back together and repair the damage. I try to keep things from getting lost and symbolically hold them precariously together with washi tape. I look back from an environmentally depleted future to the past when the earth thrived. Photographs of thriving environments, printed separately on rice paper, are physically layered on top of landscapes in peril and held with photo corners. These postcards from the past reference souvenirs gathered in a scrapbook – our natural world reduced to only nostalgic remembrances. I envision a time when opportunistic national borders dissolve; I connect two distinct landscapes creating new global environments encouraging collective mobilization and communal stewardship over our natural world.