Ghost Trees Artist Statement
Ghost Trees investigates the liminal space between what was, what is and what will be in an ever-changing world. This project began in winter 2016 as an exploration of the dying bald cypress trees in the lower Cape Fear River basin due to environmental degradation. Over the years, the health of the river has become threatened due to industrial chemicals, agricultural waste and coal ash. As the Ghost Trees project progressed, it became an exploration of the ways in which my vision has become both limited and expanded due to a midlife onset visual impairment.
These blurred images are a contrast to my earlier work that highlighted sharp focus and deep depth of field. The images are reflections of my inner emotional landscape as I contemplate the beauty and degradation of the Cape Fear River as well as the limitations of my changing vision and the ways in which it has allowed me to see more deeply from my heart. The images are a meditative bow to letting go of what was and the acceptance of what remains following loss and destruction. When we embrace the blur of uncertainty, the way toward healing becomes clearer. It is my hope that the viewer senses both the loss and beauty of these dying trees and becomes inspired to preserve nature in local communities.
This project is made possible, in part, by a 2016-2017 Regional Artist Project Grant award from The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County.
Ghost Trees is on exhibit at Expo 216 | 216 N. Front St. | Wilmington, NC 28401 September – December, 2017. The opening reception is September 22, 2017 6-9pm.