My relationship with trees began in childhood, while playing under the majestic Douglas firs near my home in the Pacific Northwest. Ever since that early experience, I’ve been in love with trees. So, it was a natural progression to turn to them as a subject for my newest work, Intimate Conversation. I have been further inspired by Peter Wohlleben’s incredible book, The Hidden Life of Trees. He argues that, “to save the world’s forests we must first recognize that trees are ‘wonderful beings’ with innate adaptability, intelligence, and the capacity to communicate with—and heal—other trees.” With this perspective in mind, 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 long hours of experimentation, I have developed a technique that enables freedom to explore the limits of analog printing and to take advantage of whatever accident or chance events 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.