Who among us hasn’t noticed it—the strange doubling of forms and faces—the echo in the world? The waves in rock, the veins in leaves, the ghostly flowerings of frost. As though God, deep in his labors, had suddenly run out of ideas, or, perhaps, surprised by the loneliness of his creation, had set out, in the eleventh hour, to stitch the world together—the sound of wind to the sound of water, the ruffling of field to the ruffling of fur, the memories of the living to the hopes of the dead. A familiar universe. A sea of small recognitions. A vast brotherhood of thoughts and things. That is what he dreamed.
It was too late. It didn’t work. We misread intention as accident, correspondence as coincidence. Only rarely, wandering through this world, did we feel that someone was trying to tell us something.
– Mark Slouka, Lost Lake
We all know our world is changing faster now than ever, in both the speed of technology’s evolution and the rapid diminishment of the natural world. A world fast fading even in our attention to it.
Most of us look at nature most often at some remove. A vista point, a park, a trail. An arrangement. A diorama. Even “nature photography” has tropes and conventions that hold us at a distance. What could be more banal than the close-up of a beautiful flower? Or the long shot of a herd crossing a plain, side-lit by the rising sun.
The night-feeding insects living on a toxic Angel Trumpet might see it differently. Resin-cast elephants stepping into unfamiliar territory may someday be the only kind we have.
A review once described my work as “fleshy and tender.” That’s more or less what I’m after.