These portraits of trees are photomontages, and by virtue of the process used to create them, can be considered “inverse panoramas.” I have at times considered these images as from a divine perspective or vantage point. It is as if one crosses through a gate or threshold into another realm, spiritual perhaps, where time and space are collapsed. From the perspective of the tree, they also represent a passage of events and time.
When I select and emphasize the individual tree, my intention is to open a gate and allow the viewer to listen and explore; and perhaps relate to the central figure in ways not before understood or realized. Similar to us in its branching, arterial-like symmetry, is there another way to appreciate a tree? John Ernest Phythian reminds us that “It is not by pretending the trees to be human that we can become and continue keenly interested in them but by seeing and feeling both their likeness to us and their difference from us.” Why are we so similar and why are we drawn so to the tree?
In the making of these images, I am attracted to the tree by its form, size and setting. Often while driving, I spot a candidate to photograph and debate in my mind if I want to pull over and wade through the wet grass or simply continue home. It is the potential for that next interesting and mysterious print that drives my ambition to collect more images. Another tree for the collection. Another window into creation.
Archival pigment print, 20″ x 13.3″ image on 22″ x 17″ paper