I began to photograph there in 1998. My mission evolved into an effort to document the evolution of this space from its geologic foundations to the environmental cleanup of toxic soils. I was deeply attracted to the 1200 oddly shaped BAAP structures and homestead foundations.
The last undammed ninety-two miles of the Wisconsin river, from Prairie du Sac to the Misssissippi, are featured. I look at five landscapes which embody the beauty and controversy surrounding this jeopardized part of Southwestern Wisconsin.
Thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council/National Council on the Humanities, I followed historical re-enactors of the fur trade era from Midwestern states as they gathered at “rendezvous” in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Over 1,000 negatives document historical clothing, equipment, campsites and activities, even a real wedding in period dress.
Collaging multiple photographs interspersed with handmade papers permits a narrative story. The narrative often recounts a cultural collision with the natural world, a collision which can be positive or negative. Each collage is one-of-a-kind and range in size from several feet long or high to eight inches square.
As a lover of both art and science, the process of photographing controlled burns has been a perfect fit, enabling me to focus on the ephemeral nature of fire and smoke. For more than 15 years I have been embedded with controlled burn teams across central and southern Wisconsin, which resulted in more than 1000 large format black and white negatives.
From a bottle-toting fox to albino squirrels, a provocative, disturbing and sometimes humorous series presents tableaux created from animal parts converted long ago into household trophies. The photographs and diorama raise questions about our culture's use of animals as souvenirs, trophies or momento mori, evoking not only the animals’ ghosts, but the ghosts of those who owned them.
Thirty odd years after I first read A Sand County Almanac I revisited the land surrounding Aldo Leopold’s Shack as both artist and landowner. The Aldo Leopold Foundation staff indicated points of interest and then generously let me explore and photograph without any agenda.