Natural Selection

Digital Print Series

Project Statement (2016)

I began this project with an interest in the appearance of fractals and symmetry in nature. Eventually my research pointed me towards the developments of planned neighborhoods in the suburbs. These communities are often very particular about lawn and garden maintenance, and people who live in them seem to hold grudges against their neighbors who don’t mow their lawns. It’s curious that people spend a great deal of time manicuring their own plots of land, but even the grass in their lawns is completely unnatural. They spread seeds, water, cut, and force it to grow in a climate it likely wasn’t meant to. They aggressively pull naturally grown weeds from their gardens and plant colorful flowers in neat rows or patterns. While nature has its own way of developing patterns and order, humans continue to try and contain, control, and bend it to their own ideas of the ideal.

I’ve taken various scenes from nature and digitally manipulated them to reference these actions of maintenance. I became drawn to the photographs from parks, because I could capture examples of human involvement with nature and push it further. I wished to include examples of perfect symmetry to comment on how strange a human’s idea of perfection looks when placed into nature. I used methods of repetition and omission to create an uncanny sense of order in these scenes.