My relationship with trees began in childhood, while playing under the majestic Douglas Firs near my home in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve loved trees ever since, so it was a natural progression to turn to them as a subject for my newest work, Intimate Conversation. I have also been inspired by Peter Wohlleben’s recent book The Hidden Life of Trees, in which he proposes that we must recognize trees as “wonderful beings” that have “…innate adaptability, intelligence, and the capacity to communicate with—and heal—other trees.” Working from this perspective, I strive to make images that invite deeper speculation into the nature of trees and that emphasize their individuality, complexity, and imposing presence. The world as we know it would not exist without them, and I want to convey this sense of kinship in my work.
To create my photographs, I work in a traditional wet darkroom with negatives, using chemicals in an unorthodox way. Through experimentation I have developed a technique that gives me freedom to explore the limits of analog printing, and to take advantage of whatever accident or chance events that may occur. It’s exhilarating (and at times challenging) to work in a liminal space that requires moment-by-moment and often intuitive decision-making. Process printing means maintaining a fearless attitude towards an unknowable outcome and finding pleasure in creating in the moment.