Erie Lost and Found: Vanishing Shoreline
Vanishing Shoreline, 2019
As a native of the Great Lakes, I have returned my gaze toward our inland seas, examining the fragility and resilience of this complex ecosystem. The resulting body of work, Vanishing Shoreline, reimagines the shoreline of Lake Erie and its tributaries in a visual homage to a horizon that has captivated me for three decades. The artificial landscapes, created from paper, painted plastic, and translucent glycerin, record observations of different species nestled into the landscape; and the resulting photographs hint at the ephemeral nature of these environments while preserving them as an imperfect record that ponders both absence and rediscovery. Coupled with these grand panoramas are translucent photographic replicas of native species essential to the area. This catalogue of species becomes a visual archive of what may disappear; and these ephemeral portraits offer contemplation on what may be, or is already lost, suggesting that paper replicas may eventually be our only reference to the once grand Great Lakes. Together these photographic works investigate the realm of loss in the face of pervasive environmental threats, while also offering a moment of reflection and a renewed discovery of the natural world.