The Feminine Landscape
My images and stories aren’t limited to the landscape alone. An ongoing element of my work explores the connection between women and the landscape. By including figures, I can tell a story or explore a feeling as well as allow people to more easily relate to these lands I love. This series of mostly self-portraits tells of my place in the landscapes I travel to; of the wonder, the scale, and the experience of being there. Because the figure usually looks away from the camera and at the land (since it is this relationship I am exploring), there is an inherent universality. The figure could be any woman. I look for themes of solitude and isolation, shelter and sanctuary, peace, connection, freedom, exhilaration and wonder, as well as less common expressions of femininity such as adventurousness, daring, curiosity, and boldness.
I am often asked what inspired this series. At its inception, it was simply a way to combine both portraiture and landscape work, my two loves. But over time, a number of other elements have converged to make the project what it is today. I was very drawn to landscape images that included the human form because it gives such a sense of scale and provides a wonderful opportunity to tell a story. More importantly, I’ve long been fascinated with the idea that we can leave impressions of ourselves on places, that there is dialogue between people and place, not just the egocentric thought that the impression runs only one way. That place can hold memories of us as individuals is an idea alluded to by the author Isak Dinesen in her book Out of Africa, and one that I have been inspired by since reading it as a teenager. The Feminine Landscape is an exploration of that concept. It has taken me to the ends of the earth, and has helped me to rediscover and express long-neglected parts of who I am.
I hope this series conveys my love of nature and wild places, a powerful but nuanced sense of connection to place (a conversation, if you will), and also a sense of boldness and adventurousness. Being empowered enough to travel and hike and camp and just be alone in nature is something I treasure. It enriches my life. I hope that shows through in my art and inspires other women to be more confident in experiencing the outdoors for themselves.