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 provides us a way to preserve not only a moment in the woods, but to serve as a voice for those same wild places that no longer exist.
Drew Harkey began recording these lost landscapes as an archaeologist. At first, his photography was unintentional; he only snapped shots as a way to capture patterns he sensed from the forest. But over time he realized that these images were really the only way to return — because an 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.
June 1–30, 2018. Tallahassee, Florida
Curated by Ann Kozeliski, Art Director