"You shall enter the living shelter of the forest.
You shall walk where only the wind has walked before".
– Nancy Newhall, 1959
Iconic symbols of majestic form, evocative of age and fortitude, trees solicit emotive responses. Whether provoking conservation movements, inspiring artistry, or simply impressing the viewer, they have historically symbolized strength, power, and beauty. Growing in lush rainforests, chaparral woodlands, and mountainside rock outcroppings, trees in their myriad forms permeate many inhabited regions of the Earth, and consequently, are revered, studied and harvested. And, their presence is recorded. Tree: Observed presents visual interpretations by four American photographers working in distinct topographical and geographic regions. From the East Coast to the country’s westernmost point of Hawaii, each photographer, employing his or her chosen photographic medium and technique, has eloquently interpreted these natural icons.
Photographed with infrared film, willows and other American heritage varietals are captured by Kimberly Schneider who explores their emerging qualities. Across the continent, Panini Pua Kea vines and ‘Ohai trees in Honolua on the Northwest Coast of Maui are Don Whitebread’s chosen photographic ‘portrait’ subjects. Northern California is studied from roughly 1,000-foot and 10,000-foot perspectives. Native oaks, pines, and orchard trees abundant in the oak woodlands and grasslands of the Northern California foothills are interpreted by Adrienne Sher using a Polaroid transfer technique. In the White Mountains of eastern California, Dana Bruce ‘maps’ the Bristlecone pine environment and accompanying aspen and sage, presenting his finished document in platinum palladium.
Dana Bruce: Bifurcated Tree Downhill and Slide Tree, Mount Wheeler
Adrienne Sher: Red Fence and Lone Tree
Adrienne Sher: Tree House