The life-giving nature of the swamp contrasts sharply with the common perception of a desolate wasteland. Wetlands play critical roles in protecting shorelines, absorbing storm-water, nurturing sea life, and sustaining migratory birds. Human development puts tremendous pressure on these vulnerable landscapes. At the same time, their resiliency is astounding. These contrasts, and the ongoing human conflicts, are what interest me. These images speak to the intertwined destinies of people and the natural world, drawing from my experiences working as a landscape architect in the great wetland region known as the New Jersey Meadowlands, just west of New York City.
I am an artist and landscape architect. I use the perspectives of both disciplines to create works in digital photography, painting, and collage that reflect on the human relationship with the earth. Much of my recent work has grown from 20+ years of commuting on the New Jersey Turnpike while designing public parks in the infamous New Jersey Meadowlands. In this urban wilderness, where infrastructure merges with estuary, the intertwining of the natural and constructed worlds is plain to see. Herons, egrets, bald eagles, and more are common sights amid crumbling factories and gleaming offices alike, while water and vegetation work relentlessly to wear it all away. From this landscape, as well as from my own halting spiritual journey and experiences with illness and loss, the themes of growth, death, renewal, and the body have become constant currents in my work. I work from digital imagery, which I use as reference material for paintings, as finished prints, and as the basis for collage. I use my own photographs as well as found or borrowed images. My ever-growing collection of images – plants, bodies, highways, skies – is the starting point for most of my work. I favor earth colors – blue, green, and brown dominate. The process of assembling and editing is intuitive; I look for synergies, rhythms, and connections through both formal elements and content. I use color, line and texture to unite what might seem like odd or disparate juxtapositions. The entire history of life on earth has taken place in the narrow band at its surface – between the slow churning of the living earth below and the endless darkness of space above. In the broadest sense, I’m just riffing on what it feels like to be a human on earth, contemplating mortality and the nature of being