I continued working on this series throughout my Junior and Senior year of college. My Junior Seminar teacher loved it, and I loved her. She had the ability to nudge you in the right direction, without ever explicitly telling you which direction that was. My Senior thesis teacher disliked the series, just as much as I disliked her. At each critique, when I'd put the new work up, she'd ask, "Do you have to use landscape photographs? Can't you use a less trite reference? Like fences?"
I stood by my work, each and every time she said this.
The summer before I started this series, was the summer that the Hayman Fire burned in Colorado. I watched it burn from the nightly news in Baltimore. The fire was so large that it created it's own weather pattern, so large that you could see it from satellite images, so large that ashes fell in my parents yard, even though it was burning 100 miles away. Keep in mind, that this was before all of these things became the "New Normal" of a changing climate.
All of this impacted me. I had backpacked in the area throughout my childhood, and now it was gone. Not gone, but it would never be the same. This series was a commentary on the changing environment, the loss of something significant, and the beauty of that destruction.
Each time I see a new fire break out, here in Colorado or California, or the devastating fire from Greece this summer, I think of these images that I created in 2002, that seem more relevant today than they did when I created them.
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