Concerning the Garden of Earthly Delights
Project info

Concerning the Garden of Earthly Delights

“Wildness is the preservation of the World.” ― Henry David Thoreau

In this series I explore the relationship between humans and the natural world as exemplified by the Green Man motif of folklore. The Green Man can be thought of as a symbol of our union with nature, representing the underlying life-force of the wilderness as well as the cycle of rebirth and renewal each spring. However, there is also a dark side to nature as symbolized by the oppressive quality of the tendrilled growth that almost suffocates The Green Man in some representations.

As humans, we are caught between the dichotomy of darkness and the light, drawn to the seductive wildness of nature and yet fearing the calls and cries of wild things in the night. This underlying terror is one of the factors that led to the growth of civilization in hopes of creating a buffer between ourselves and the untamed world. Unfortunately in doing so, we now run the risk of destroying the entire planet if we cannot find a balance between the two.

I use a variation on Lumen printing, an early alternative process photographic method using photosensitive paper and plant material developed by the sun. The colors in the prints are produced by the action of the sun, moisture and chemicals in the plants on the photosensitive papers. Most of the plants used for these lumen prints comes from my own garden.

Concerning the Garden of Earthly Delights takes its name from and is inspired by a triptych painted by Hieronymus Bosch that dates from between 1490 and 1510.