My greatest aspirations are presently constituted by the
six acres of
boreal forest that I inhabit, and I'm slowly tuning my body and my
to its details. I'm coming to know this habitat by engaging with it in
various ways: corporally, emotionally, intellectually, instinctively,
linguistically, and in astonishment.
This series of black and white photographs concerns the
of three entities: first, individual native trees; second, their
the collective of the forest system; and third, the human perceiver, as
manifested by the gesture of my hand touching the tree trunks.
I'm interested in the particularity of each tree - its
(haecceitas) — and the circumstances that bring me to discern
amongst the thousands in this forest. Even when I'm being my most
attentive, there are still many trees I have not yet noticed enough to
remember as individuals.
This work harkens back to one I did in 1983 when I
photographed my hand —
which was 24 years younger — on 22 ancient standing stones on various
islands of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Now, instead of travelling
distant sites to find subject matter, I'm paying attention over a long
period of time to the place where I live and familiarizing myself with
multitude of trees here.
I believe that aesthetics plays an important role in
considerations, and vice versa. Trying to integrate my life and my
has resulted in the deliberate slightness of my artistic gesture. My
to achieve an aesthetic stance in collaboration with the landscape that
surrounds me. In responding to this landscape, I'm becoming more and
sensitive to the vivid, ephemeral nature of being.
Each year I continue the series of photographs with
about nine trees that have come to my attention. But what I should say
is my attention has come to them—either because of
their location or because of something that happened.