Trees are good to think with. They are living metaphors for our relationship with the natural world and ourselves. Most often we look at these green lives. In this body of work I instead try to look with them. Can a different perspective and a wider field of view create a momentary connection with other lives that surround us? Of course trees don’t see, but they are keenly aware of light and exquisitely sensitive to their immediate environments. Perhaps if, even momentarily we can feel our way towards a different relationship with a nature we imagine we are separate from, we can see ourselves differently in the world.

 

These images are in dialog with the works of many other artists dating back at least as far as Ovid. Among more recent influences are Anne Brigman’s self-portraits as tree spirits, but her dreamy anthropomorphism is offset by the influence of Alexander Rodchenko. His photographs of the pine trees at his dacha, and his belief that changing perspective could transform consciousness are anxious influences in my work. Among contemporaries, I am interested in Myoung Ho Lee who photographs portraits of full-sized trees against seamless backdrops and uses the context beyond the backdrop as the frame of her work. I am also informed by the work of Ilkka Halso whose Reconstruction series depicts humorous and poignant human interventions on behalf of nature. In my own body of work rather than thinking about how we look at and act on our arboreal neighbors I try to see with them.