artist statement: nuthatch/time scars

Nuthatch (Waterloo, Ontario)

In my photographic work, I am constantly searching for different perspectives, new ways of seeing. For this series I have used a unique point of view, one that I call the “Nuthatch” approach.

The nuthatch is a bird that views the world from a different perspective than other birds in that it walks upside down on a tree trunk, moving from top to bottom. No one knows for sure why it does this, but most scientists agree that being upside down gives the nuthatch a different point of view, allowing it to see into crevices that would not be visible to upright birds. This allows it to find food others might miss. Also, nuthatches store seeds and other food in the cracks and crevices of tree trunks to prepare for winter. Setting up these caches from an upside down perspective would make it harder for other birds to discover them. Additionally, during winter, when the leaves are down and food is scarce, nuthatches flock together with other birds, such as chickadees and wood peckers, for increased safety. Because the nuthatches feed on seeds and insects that the other birds cannot see, the flock can sustain itself with smaller feeding areas.

To imitate the nuthatch perspective, all photographs in this series were taken in the upright position, parallel to the trunk of a black cherry tree, and the resulting images were then rotated 180 degrees. Perhaps, like the nuthatch, we will see things that others will not.


Time Scars (Waterloo, Ontario)

I often find myself photographing small sections of larger objects. Ansel Adams used the term "extractions" to describe these types of images. Generally speaking, as smaller and smaller portions of the whole are photographed, the images become less and less recognizable or understood, and less relatable to the whole. At some point they become abstractions, more defined by their own inherent qualities or characteristics than the reality of the entire, specific object.

As extractions move further into the realm of abstraction, viewers are transported away from the reality of the object to the world of their imaginations. Here they have the opportunity to "see" something else and create their own meanings, interpretations and responses.

This collection of photographic extractions, titled Time Scars, is actually a series of macro images of the bark of mature white birch trees, but what else could they be?


To view image gallery: Click here.