In the late summer of 2003, a forest fire erupted in the dry forests of the Cascade Mountains near Sisters, Oregon. Over the course of the next 5 weeks, the B and B Complex fire would scorch over 90,000 acres of forestlands before it was contained.
The raw power of fire left its indelible mark on the landscape, and upon me: it was apocalyptic, bizarre, powerful, spooky, surreal. I spent an artist residency wandering this charred landscape for two weeks; it left me stilled and in awe.
Metaphor abounds here: beauty from ashes; life and death; the ravages of war; creation and the fall; body and environment; phoenix rising. Without attempting to create literal interpretations of such themes, I did want to explore the juxtaposition of bringing living people into this environment of death and decay. To make surreal work in a surreal place. And so we did.
While in Sisters one afternoon, I showed some Polaroids of my work to an older woman with whom I was speaking. Repeatedly she pulled out a portrait I’d taken of a young girl struggling with manic depression. Looking at it, she said it reminded her of part of Psalm 23. As she quoted it, I had to agree:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”
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Images in this series were captured on medium and large format film; finished prints are printed with archival inks on archival cotton rag paper. Limited editions are available for particular images. Signed prints are available for purchase at the following prices: 11×14: $325, 18×22: $500. Please contact me for purchase.