Untitled (Mostly, We Found Life) (2020-2021)
For "Mostly We Found Life," I turned to photographing my children for the first time. Stuck inside our Manhattan two-bedroom apartment, pandemic raging, our detachment from the outside had become extreme, unbearable, as if we were decomposing. After eight weeks of isolation, we finally got out for a hike at a city park.
The open-air was invigorating.
Weekend treks quickly became family ritual, as we recognized a kinship with nature as a necessity for renewal. We were in awe of what we saw: our vulnerability and interdependence reflected in the wonders of the forest. We observed rock servicing waterfall, spider webs backed by wishbone-shaped tree trunks, the humus of fallen trees supplying nutrients and protection for seedlings. We found the cycles of growth, decay, and rebirth manifested as formal and fluid. Sometimes we were confronted with loss. Mostly, we found life.
The resulting photographs are dreamlike yet foreboding. Images of body and nature emphasize themes of interconnection, transformation, and fragility. They remind us to heed the natural world, compelling us to practice reciprocity.
Scientists Suzanne Simard and Peter Wohlleben have shown how the forest functions as a symbiotic community, where infinite biological pathways operate mutually to provide connection and communication to all beings, offering feedback and an enormous capacity for resilience and self-healing. This past year has taught us that we do not exist solely to benefit our individual lives. We must consider our interdependency. This story is of the present moment. As we enter this next chapter charged with renewed hope, we can look to the natural world to see how together we survive.
Untitled (Mostly We Found Life), a story of collaborative healing, is a work in progress. A solo exhibition will be mounted at Hyde Art Gallery at Grossmont College, San Diego, CA, in Fall 2023.