“Go out in the woods, go out. If you don’t go out in the woods nothing will ever happen and your life will never begin.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
During my most recent trip out to Nova Scotia, I spent a lot of time reconnecting with nature and exploring some of the South Shore’s most beautiful forest habitats. The breathtaking light, lush foliage, that incredibly fresh air in the coastal forests and those dense Cumulonimbus clouds right before a storm, remain fixed in my memory. It was an opportunity to quiet the mind, just be present, make photographs and be in the wild. I also brushed up on my knowledge of flora and practiced my plant identification skills.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, has a well established ship and boat building industry that dates back to the late 18th century. The shipbuilding industry grew to meet the demand for vessels needed for travel, trade and fishing by European settlers of the town. By the late 19th century, the main industries in Lunenburg were fishing, agriculture and boat and shipbuilding. Wooden vessels continued to be built well into the 20th century, the most famous of which are the Bluenose I, built in 1921 and the Bluenose II, originally built in 1963.
The shipbuilding industry is still alive in Lunenburg today and people come from all over the world to study and learn the craft of shipbuilding from master craftsmen. During my most recent visit to Lunenburg, I got the opportunity to look in on some shipbuilders and was just blown away by the dedication and craftsmanship involved.
Intrigued by the intrinsic beauty and design of ocean plants, I began collecting these specimens during my trips out to Nova Scotia over the past year. The process of drying and pressing the specimens so that they would lay flat was the initial step. I then selected the specimens based on how visually interesting I found them; staring at them for a while, the designs and textures allow the imagination to wander. I chose to photograph them using a studio setup and strobes; shooting with the intention of converting them to black and white. I am quite happy with how this series has come together so far and hope to add to it as my ocean plant specimen collection grows.