I AM: For the Love of Nature are self-portraits composed in the American West as a 60-something woman. On the surface, they explore the solitude of the unoccupied landscape. In earlier times, being in nature provided solace for me during and after childhood trauma.
Women and nature have a lot in common: we are both revered and desecrated by others and ourselves. These wild places encouraged me to explore personal and universal themes — consumerism, debasing things we love, and the issues of waste, trash talk, merchandising, and equating old and abused with useless.
The images are performance pieces where my nude body and gestures explore self-acceptance and aging in the sanctuary of the wilderness. My character is vulnerable, as is our natural environment, while the scenes and accompanying poems contrast fragility and exposure with empowerment. The photographic images themselves are minimally processed — “undressed” in a broad sense. I want to convey the naturalness of co-existing with nature, with neither of us having to fancy ourselves up for the privilege of showing up.
In the remote and quiet expanse, I listen to nature herself, unearthing power, peacefulness, and the Present.
All images and text © Roxanne Darling
By Roxanne Darling
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