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Artist Statement

Nature is ever changing. Never more so than today. Yet the increasingly ephemeral state of our remaining wild places can be documented — and remembered. The photograph, with its enduring potential, provides us a way to preserve not only a sublime moment in the woods, but also 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 just snapped shots as a way to capture 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, Drew documents places endangered and preserved, hoping to show 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.