ADIRONDACK PLACES TO SIT
In the Adirondack Forest Preserve most picture makers focus their attention and lens on the obvious and familiar natural world. In their pictures they represent that world as a pristine wilderness seemingly untouched by the machinations of humankind. But to my eye and sensibility the genius of the Adirondacks is often found in quotidian places and manifestations of the coexistence of humankind and the natural world. A harmonious and hopefully sustainable equilibrium formed at the boundary of competing systems.
Chairs and places to sit are ubiquitous in one’s life. Some are made for working, some for waiting, some for getting somewhere, some for resting or relaxing, and some for just sitting around and contemplating what is.
Some are comfortable, some not so much. Some, such as the Adirondack chair, are testament to the chair maker’s art and craft, while others are simple and functional and without pretense of any kind. However one encounters and uses chairs / places to sit, there can be no denying their place in our everyday life.
My pictures of chairs and places to sit are anchored to places and experiences in my life in the Adirondacks. Those pictures visually instigate vivid memories of the places, people, and experiences linked with them. They are, rather than mere representations of objects on which I have sat and watched the world go by, a diary of my bygone world.
LIFE WITHOUT THE APA
Since its inception, the APA - Adirondack Park Agency - has been the much reviled target of a host of individual / mercantile / political adversaries. Some advocate for its total abolishment, others want it to be rendered ineffectual. Local politicians campaign against it as a “job killer” and the destroyer of the region’s economy.
In response to the never-ending and self-serving nattering, I have created a series of constructed pictures depicting an as yet unseen ‘reality’. That is, how life without the APA might look. By appropriating the photographic medium’s intrinsic and inexorable relation to and cohort of the real, I am striving to make real, if only in a viewer’s imagination, my nightmare visions of a possible not so much Forever Wild yet to come.
Rain is transformational in many ways. It nurishes and facilitates growth giving back that which the sun has taken. It cleanses the air and the land and stimulates our sense of smell. On the roofs over our heads, it creates a symphony of sounds - from a gentle patter to a tumultuous cascade of a thousand snare drums.
In my picture making, I am aware of the rain’s transformational visual properties which can mask the landscape behind a liquid curtain and in a somber light. Water saturates the landscape - urban and nature - infusing it with deep rich yet muted color.
To my eye and sensibilities, there is an intriguing and captivating sense of mystery and wonder to be seen and felt in the rain. And it is that lure which drives me to eschew shelter and seek to immerse myself in its watery and transformational embrace.
Au Sable Forks, a small village in a big park, is where I live. Even though I came here for the big park, I have come to appreciate the small village and the life that it facilitates.
Some claim that The Forks is not amongst the most beautiful villages in the Adirondacks. They’re right, but only if you look skin deep. In fact, if you look beneath the surface of things, there is a life here that is filled with potential and beauty.
It is both the potential and the beauty that I strive to make visible with my camera. For, as I have come to realize, that even though I once thought that my pictures where about beauty in nature, they are, in fact, about the nature of beauty.