Forest to title
The Forest is probably the most complicated and personal series I’ve undertaken. I spent three years photographing for this series, from 2011 through 2013. All of the images have been photographed in the Selkirk Mountains, in NE Washington State. I have a cabin in the Colville National Forest, and have spent nearly every summer of my life there. There is no place on earth that I have greater affection for.
As beautiful a place as it is, however, there is a very palpable sense of mystery and darkness. I believe that there is a very strong presence in this forest, a presence that is hard to define but is experienced viscerally. On the periphery, the forest appears pristine, and seemingly ordered. But upon hiking further in you realize that there is more of a state of disorder. Fallen trees and jagged branches litter the forest floor. Majestic pines give way to a more gnarled mass of decayed and fallen trees, and clusters of anthropomorphic trees akin to those in a fantastical film.
This body of work in part relates to a specific place, but at its core is an exploration of self. While The Forest is a series of landscapes, the essence of the work is neither landscape nor the region depicted in the photographs. The landscapes function metaphorically for internal physical and psychological states. The work is quite dark and densely layered, visually as well as in content. The images are interwoven with thoughts on magic, loss, spirits, discovery and renewal.