WITNESS

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This photographic series uses landscape imagery as a commentary on contemporary culture, realizing my long-standing goal: to create a compelling photo essay that captures my concerns about community, environment, and society.

As a landscape photographer,the recent practice of wrapping trees in winter disturbed me; symbolic of both the loss of our agrarian heritage and the excessive wealth consuming our community.  It seems to say what matters most is the trophy tree in the yard, and not the environment surrounding it.  It is an aggressive possessiveness. Stay away. My view. No looking allowed.

I began photographing wrapped trees during the Bush-Abu Ghraib years.  In my mind, the images of hooded tortured victims sprung to life in the wrapped trees. This chilling reaction lead to further reflection on the coincidence of the sudden burst of wrapped forms and our growing social inequality and obsession with technology.

The wrapped forms are a perfect metaphor for our narcissistic society – everyone wrapped up in themselves and isolated from others by virtue of our segregated communities and individual technologies. Further, these forms symbolize people struggling or hidden: refuges, undocumented workers, oppressed minorities.

Through these photographs, I want to encourage people to pause and reflect on threats to our community, environment, and society.

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