Drew Harkey

artistic nature



Artistic Nature is a photo album by Drew Harkey of Tallahassee, Florida.


Nature is ever changing. Never more so than today. Yet the increasingly ephemeral state of our remaining wild places can be documented with ever more enduring art techniques. The digital medium, with its binary archiving potential, provides the artist a way to preserve not only a sublime moment in the woods, but also serves as a voice for those same wild places that no longer exist.

Drew Harkey began recording these landscapes as an wildland archaeologist. At first, his photography was unintentional; he snapped shots as a way to frame something he sensed from the forest. But over time he realized that his images were really the only way to return — because in Florida the archaeologist is called in to make sure a road, industrial park or housing development can move forward. After he leaves, the bulldozers follow.

Today, Harkey documents places endangered and preserved, hoping to capture the same essence found in both — hoping to demonstrate the value of all wild places regardless their legislated fate. His work, then, is an epitaph, a plea and a celebration. And, most especially, an opportunity to share with others those exceptional moments when he has witnessed Nature as artist.




As the rising winter sun reveals a checkerboard of earthen colors variegated by the green fissures of rivers and streams crisscrossed by thin tendrils of highways, roads and rails — each small town clings to the glistening human-made web like drops of dew — every detail below is clear. Each house is a tiny house. Each car a very tiny car. A lake with ice reflecting the sky. A microscopic tree with pinprick branches. It's as if I could stand on the wrinkled plain. Poke a finger in that frozen lake. Kneel on the Rocky Mountains and scoop a handful of snow and lob it over the edge of the earth. Wade through a weather front with the sun on my shoulders and kick a peak across the sky.


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