Into and Out of Nature

I know I have written enough about my interests in nature and romanticism, but in case you need a refresher (or an introduction) my work is very much intrinsically nature-based and romanticized from subject matter to just the essence of the art I make.

With having Directed this semester, I had to work on one concept for a whole semester. A year or so ago, I did a series on trash that I found on my walk to the train station as well as trash from the Chattahoochee River. After the fact, the Chattahoochee River photographs are being showcased in Georgia State University’s Research Conference AND I was interviewed about it; that interview will be making an appearance on GSU’s social media sometime soon.

But, in Directed, I figured that I found a good start and a good direction to aim for. I wanted something more artistic and interesting though, something more romantic than the Hooch Series. So I made abstract landscapes out of trash.

That became too beautiful and made no effect.

So I created an array of images involving nature and trash from juxtaposing the two in a frame to printing pictures of nature ONTO trash to putting a picture of nature in trash. These seemed to struggle.

So I went back to the documentary, cold-hearted cataloguing of trash. This lost my voice. BUT two days before my critique, I had a strike of genius. Pair photographs of found trash with haiku. Haiku is traditionally a veneration of nature in 17 syllables.

This is what I have been developing. I have a critique tomorrow on the work I have made. In lieu of finding haiku (it’s terribly hard to find this online) I perused the library (with books already overdue) to find haiku. I acquired a book with haiku by Basho and a book with haiku by Jack Kerouac. Kerouac’s book is small and easy to carry around, so naturally, that’s what stayed in my backpack to ogle at while I was on trains or buses.

Let me tell you, JACK KEROUAC’S HAIKU’S ARE GENIUS. He wanted to reestablish haiku in a way that doesn’t continue the age old tradition of it. He altered the rules to create an Americanized and modern haiku that is more playful and open to contemporary thinking that traditional haiku. They are perfect to pair with my photographs. Out of context romanticized quality with non traditional photographic subject matter paired with a non traditional poem about nature? I’m in heaven.

However, as much as I love this series I have created, I have found myself in conflicting ideas. Nature is so empowering and overwhelming that it doesn’t care about trash. Of course, trash is affecting animals tragically, but I’m not up for that fight. Plants and trees don’t give a flying flipper about plastic and trash. A recent article that I read from DIS magazine online article that I read from DIS magazine online about Bea Fremderman’s art series “Solastalgia” has reinforced that realization for me. Her work looks at the apocalyptic world where humanity is finished and nature takes her rein over objects leftover by humanity’s existence.

I am not sure where that leaves me to continue on with, but that’s for another story.

Pictures coming soon!



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