Concealed dreamscapes of feral beauty and romantic wonder from within our densely populated, heavily developed section of East Coast corridor.
During the last year as Artist-in-Residence at Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Rivers Center, I developed ANIMAL LAND in collaboration with biologist Anne Wright, Director of Environmental Outreach, to bring to light wildlife thriving throughout, but largely unobserved, in our Central Virginia section of the James River watershed. ANIMAL LAND unites contemporary art strategies with scientific research and blends handmade photographic printmaking with ultramodern digital tech. Drawing initially on night-vision photographs collected in City of Richmond’s James River Park System by Anne for her Science in the Park biodiversity research, ANIMAL LAND expanded to incorporate images recorded around my home along the Chickahominy River. Final prints are produced in my darkroom with 19th century photographic printing processes, digital contact negatives, ultraviolet lightbulbs and fine papers.
Explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau said “People protect what they love.” Sufi poet, Rumi, wrote “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” With ANIMAL LAND, I aim to seduce viewers to recognize and to treasure sublime natural systems located where we live, immediately at hand, and in urgent need of acknowledgement and safeguarding.
Candela Gallery features ANIMAL LAND in a solo show opening May 4, 2017, and presented selections at AIPAD The Photography Show in NYC March 30 – April 2.