Honoring Trees, PhotoPlace Gallery

PhotoPlace Gallery, 3 Park Street, Middlebury, VT 05753

June 7 to July 8

Barrier Beach Erosion #1

Online Exhbition: http://photoplacegallery.com/in-honor-of-trees/

Juror’s Statement

In his book The Practice of the Wild, poet and essayist Gary Snyder points out that “wild” is most often defined by what it is not. So, it is undomesticated, untamed, uninhabited, uncultivated, uncivilized. What if, he writes, we instead define it by what it is? Through this lens, “wild” becomes: self-propagating, flourishing, pristine, exuberant, original, self-reliant, ecstatic, free. Seen in this more positive light, nature has agency and power – a sense of dynamism that reminds us to take note, to honor the wild places we’re still lucky enough to have.

The images selected for this exhibition are poetic, evocative, and deeply interpretive. They masterfully capture some of the spirit of their subjects, rather than simply telling us what things look like. This attention to mood and emotion brings the scenes alive and inspires us to care. I hope the exhibit serves as an invitation to celebrate the wild beauty of trees and to contemplate what we stand to lose in the relentless drive for environmental dominion. As Edward Abbey so poignantly reminds us, “Love of wilderness is…an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see.” 

Laura Valenti