“Where We Go” is a body of work that contemplates and addresses the act of engagement between people and the natural world.
I believe that through interpretation of the ways we experience places that are considered natural, we learn more about how we want to live in our own environment. The places we go to experience nature are built-on in order for us to explore it as safely and conveniently as possible. True nature would be too frightening or difficult to access for the majority of us. My photographs document the places where we get-away, where we convene with nature.
Often when we visit wilderness parks we are welcomed by a visitor center with displays that mimic what we are about to experience in the wild. This information is, of course, helpful and insightful, but it also is another way of directing our experience. The natural setting is broken down into monumental locations that have been deemed the most interesting, and the animals that we will encounter have been edited to the most unusual or fascinating. When we have made our way to the park we are guided by trails and signs and guardrails. These things make the experience easier and perhaps more interesting, but they also do not allow us to have a unique experience, or to wander at our own freewill.
I am not arguing for the dismantling of these systems, I find them a comfort and wholly necessary to avoid the wanton destruction of our most pristine natural areas, but I do think it is necessary that we all take notice of how we learn about and experience the natural world.