"Nurturing Time, Life in a Backyard Garden"
Project info

“Nurturing Time, Life in a Backyard Garden” inhabits the place where still life and landscape meet.

In this series I take on the dual roles of cultivator and collector, gardener and photographer to explore how we shape and control Nature even as we nurture it. The choices confronting the gardener—what to grow, what to remove, what space to devote to which plants—are mirrored by the artist’s task to select, compose and transform.

As collaborator with Nature my working method bridges the usually disparate practices of documentary and staged photography. Working with the near daily changes offered by the garden, I respond to what I find there at any given time by taking cuttings of selected plants and flowers that I compose into arrangements and then photograph, either in the moment or at a later date. A simple cardboard box serves as both neutral container and conceptual envelope to display the arrangements.

The resulting assemblages are a combination of happenstance and design that suggest an array of associations and contradictions in relation to our collective experience of garden life. The intimacy of a backyard garden becomes a metaphor for our relationship to the natural world at large.

Beyond typology, “Nurturing Time” offers us the richness of the garden and illuminates our connection to it. The assembled flower boxes resonate with a range of emotion, reflecting our own experience of vitality and decay, abundance and loss. Memory—time’s shadow—is present here, too, as events and lives are evoked and memorialized by these images.

Process: Chromogenic prints made in the darkroom from medium-format color film; exhibition print size varies, including 11x14, 16x20 and 20x24 prints.