How does one come to photograph dead birds, bones, bugs, frogs and feathers? For me it’s been a rather long and circuitous process. I could tell you that I think that most young boys find bones, bugs and birds amongst other things generally fascinating as they were for me. I could tell you that the family vacations of my childhood seemed to always include museum visits somehow played a part in validating such fascinations. Certainly these early experiences planted a seed for the development of this body of work. Additionally, there have been crucial experiences as an adult that helped make this body of work possible.
I was misdiagnosed as having an incurable disease that resulted in two and a half years of frequent blood testing, x-raying and other giving of “specimens” before I was to ultimately and accurately be diagnosed and healed. It was during that experience that I photographed the first of what would be many “specimens”. At the time I was simply trying to do something therapeutic and useful for myself. My intention was to make negatives for darkroom demonstrations. Upon seeing the first negatives I could tell that they were the starting point for something that was potentially much more interesting than I had originally intended.
Add to this personal history the rich tradition in the visual arts for depicting nature. From cave men to the Renaissance and up to present times nature has served as metaphor for human existence. To paraphrase the well known photographer and teacher Minor White, “I photograph things not only to see what they can be but also, to see what else they can be”. And so it is for me as well. There are many different reasons that I’m immensely intrigued by each of the objects that have been photographed. Ultimately for me the beauty lies in a larger realm. They remind me of the fecundity life. From birth to death there is beauty in the small things that we sometimes fail to grasp in the great cycle of life.