I created this series by painting plants and animals on my body and photographing the completed paintings. The combination of body painting and self-portraiture was an intimate way of expressing and transforming myself. I shared my joy in discovering that a particular flower in the garden had finally bloomed, my awareness that summer was passing as I walked among aster and goldenrod, my longing for the beach on a cool autumn evening, my looking to the natural world for wisdom about surviving winter’s dark days, and my wonder at the soaring of birds as spring returned.
My home is in Massachusetts and I enjoy exploring my backyard and the nearby Middlesex Fells forest. Creating this series increased my attentiveness to nature, resulting in inner as well as outer transformation. Some of the photographs were taken outdoors and incorporated natural settings. Other photographs were taken indoors, as living in New England during the colder months often entails yearning for the outdoors while being inside.
This series was informed by the understanding that humanity is both an integral part of the natural world and set apart from it by our disproportionately destructive impact. As an activist confronting climate change, I continually seek another kind of self-transformation: to limit my own destructive impact as a consumer and to be more fully engaged in climate justice. These images reflect a longing for greater harmony between myself and nature, but not necessarily the full realization of it.