- PhMuseum 2023 Photography Grant
Taking Note In The Splendor
Dates2021 - Ongoing
Taking Note In The Splendor is an in-progress project which examines the way in which humans have asserted their dominance over the earth and its environments for power.
Taking Note In The Splendor is a body of work which explores human interventions on planet earth, a collision between the natural and the man made. I hope for the work to act as a living diorama of our times, where a feeling of a looming dystopian future lies in wait.
I first began making pictures for this project when I began traveling the United States in an RV, living on the fringes of wilderness. I felt a kind of symbiosis and communion with the natural world. Seeing and feeling it as if for the first time, the textures of a blade of grass, the rhythmic flow of a wave moving through water, the warmth of a sun baked boulder, the way clouds emanate seemingly out of nowhere. It all became a series of precious intimate moments, where nature revealed itself to me in a flurry of sensory experiences.
This all began to change though, as news headlines poured in over the air waves when I was lucky enough to have a signal. The topic they talked about most was of climate change and how the time to act was now. To begin the process of reversing what we have done over so many years of negligent management over the environment. I just remember a feeling of dread come over me, being in a beautiful place but knowing how fragile it all really was. It felt like the earth was dying because of so many years of human progress. Manipulating the environment and polluting it with our waste in all its various forms. This began a transition into thinking about the project differently, about what results from our ambitions to conquer the world as a species. Often choosing what lives and what dies as a result of our endless need for control. I began to make photographs with this in mind, and it slowly started to become a contradiction between beauty and destruction.
I began photographing animals as I saw them, observing people in nature at national parks and zoos, preserved specimens of animals, graffiti and tree carvings, remnants of wildfires, hazy smog over cities, retreating glaciers, a boulder teetering over an edge. All of this work together acts as a metaphor for the times we are in and the cataclysmic future that awaits us if things don’t begin to change course. I intend for this work to be a long term visual conversation with the natural world as it exists presently and contemplating how it will change with time.
The grant money garnered from this award would go a long way with supporting the project, allowing me time and finances to get back out there and finish the work. The main challenge I face now is having the financial stability to keep making pictures on regular basis. To keep thinking critically about the work and pushing it into new directions.
The money would be used in the following way:
Contribute to recurring monthly expenses of lodging, food, transportation costs, equipment rental, and other accommodations that allow for the uninterrupted time in developing the work further.