TURNING ON NATURE, 2004-2007

For about 40 summers I have worked in the woods and along the rocky shores of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. I have gotten to know that remote and wild landscape very well. It has been an important home for my artwork. After about 2000 I began to notice the disturbing presence of pollution, overfishing, clear cutting, erosion, and even trash and graffiti along streams hidden in the woods. I could not ignore these activities in my artwork. I wanted my photographs to indicate the effects on nature brought about by such uncontrolled
human activity.

In order to express this awareness I began to add narrative marks and lines to the final printed photographs. After a lot of experimenting I found ways to print on them with etching ink, to paint and draw with India ink, crayons and other tools. I even punched holes, cut openings, and wove strips of photographs through. This approach came naturally to me from years of working with other materials. The meaning of the lines and marks is ambiguous, but adds visual tension to the images. Something is going awry in the natural world.

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TURNING ON NATURE - 1, Photograph with etching ink, 20 x 24, 2005   TURNING ON NATURE - 2, Photograph with etching ink, 20 x 24, 2005   TURNING ON NATURE - 3, Photograph with etching ink, 24 x 20, 2005   TURNING ON NATURE - 4, Photograph with mixed media, 20 x 24, 2005   TURNING ON NATURE - 5, Photograph with etching ink, 20 x 24, 2005   TURNING ON NATURE - 6, Photograph with etching ink, 20 x 24, 2005   TURNING ON NATURE - 7, Photograph with acrylic paint, 20 x 24, 2006   TURNING ON NATURE - 8, Photograph with mixed media, 20 x 24, 2006   TURNING ON NATURE - 9, Photograph with etching ink, 20 x 24, 2006   TURNING ON NATURE - 10, Photograph with mixed media, 20 x 24, 2006   TURNING ON NATURE - 11, Photograph with mixed media, 20 x 24, 2006   TURNING ON NATURE - 12, Photograph with India ink, 20 x 24, 2007   TURNING ON NATURE - 13, Photograph with mixed media, 20 x 24, 2007   TURNING ON NATURE - 14, Photograph with mixed media, 20 x 24, 2007   TURNING ON NATURE - 15, Photograph with acrylic paint, 20 x 24, 2007