Into the Woods

It started with plastic tape I found attached to trees in South Carolina, strips of hot pink and blue punctuating the greens and browns of mighty oaks. Property markers, yes, but also adornment. Back home in New York State, I searched for colored tapes in the woods, but found very few.  It was March, the landscape brown, the sky mostly gray.  I craved color and the hardware store had it.

 For the first time in many years of photographing landscape, I began introducing things into the field of view. I found that a single stroke of alien color would draw the eye into and around the photographic frame. I think of the tape or other material as a flourish, like a musical grace note, with the landscape retaining the upper hand.  We humans have always made our marks on the land, one way or another.  We claim territory, designate what's to be preserved or removed; we indicate the route, and we alter or add to what's there for the sake of visual pleasure. In these photographs, the introduced elements reference human intervention in the natural environment. But, of course, they are also a self-reference. I choose a location, experiment with my materials, and in time arrive at a photograph. Then, I gather my materials and leave things as they were.  Would that all human interventions in the landscape were so benign.    Back to Series