25 Years, 2014

Close to 300 years ago all of the native forests in Ireland were chopped down. In the last hundred years, farmers and government agencies have been working on a movement to bring forests back to Ireland. Instead of planting native species of trees, large monoculture forests of quick growing trees have been planted. Despite the relatively short life this new ecosystem has had, the abundance of depth and complexity in growth has created an environment that seems wild but is inextricably linked to human intervention.

In 2013, I participated in a residency at a farm in county Wexford, Ireland. On that farm is a man made forest, which was planted to be harvested for wood. I spent my days in this forest trying to understand where nature and construct meet. If there is a divide and where that divide can be found. Subsequently, each photograph in this series contains a manipulation in a natural scene.

I also spent time looking at all of the parts of the forest that had begun to thrive because of the young trees that were planted. I put out a watermelon trap to see the types of slugs I could catch. After it rained, I collected different kinds mushrooms that sprouted overnight. I searched for hidden treasures. I also read about Ireland's history of deforestation, how the environment has been affected, and the movement to bring forests back. These photos reflect the time that I spent getting to know this forest that is only 25 years in age.