UntitledLake erie, Portraits
Using traditional means and materials, my pictures of people, in dialogue with the particular landscape shaped by Lake Erie in Ohio, explore and broadly reference the prescience of 19th century writer, philosopher, Henry David Thoreau.
As is well known, Lake Erie’s health is challenged and has been for decades. Farm run off, industry, outdated water treatment systems, and warming global temperatures, among others, pressure the balance of a delicate ecosystem in the shallowest of all the Great Lakes. The most vulnerable of the five, it is sometimes referred to as ‘ the canary in the coal mine’. And yet it is home to an important migratory bird route, remains crucial to the route of cargo freighters, and, as well, contains the most tremendous population of consumable fish of all the lakes. The tension found on the shores of Lake Erie from these circumstances compels me to make my pictures.
I do not aspire to describe the aforementioned tension in literal terms in order to make a point nor do I imagine my images capable of changing policy. But when I work I cannot help but allude to the specific struggle found here. Pictures made by and of water read without titles become pictures by and of water anywhere. Describing well the specifics of place opens up that place to the universal. The ‘endangered’ features the Lake has for those who study it and those awake to the consequences of human activities mirrors us, our presence. For six years, my research has focused on the prophetic depth of Henry David Thoreau's observation: "A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."