These photographs are made as reflections on fear, uncertainty, and the increasing awareness of dangers beyond our control. Through fragments from this fleeting world, I hope to make visible and emotionally tangible ideas about our global climate dangers. Both figuratively and literally, our hopes for a future rest on the contrast and connectedness of my two subjects, ancient, carbon-capturing forested lands and young idealists and activists. Both are threatened by the impact of consumerism and greed, and both are essential in any rescue from impending catastrophe.
Using aesthetic approaches similar to the sublime painters of the eighteenth century, I make images which might provoke responses of terror, pleasure, and empathy. The existential condition many of us experience related to our climate crisis has a contemporary cause but is similar to what eighteenth century philosophers, visual artists, and writers defined as the sublime response to the fearsome powers of nature. When human reason and emotion produce a sensation of horror and awe, or a negative pleasure that combines an unsettling anxiety with feelings of pleasure, the sublime response is in effect. This emotional and aesthetic response is even more appropriate for twenty-first century humans, as our threatened habitat becomes a threat to our own existence. Our collective response to wildness, beauty, human nature, and the forces behind each determines our future and our children’s. These hopeful photographic figments are studies in beauty, fear, and hope, and are presented to emphasize our inherent fragility, resiliency, and connectedness.