This is a collaborative project, begun In August of 2016, with Photographer Christa Bowden , and Sound Artist/Sculptor Ernesto R. Gómez. Our weeklong stay on the island last August coincided with the centennial of the National Park System and was the first of many trips we intend to make to this southernmost barrier island off the coast of Georgia.
Having never been to Cumberland Island before, the initial visit was, for me, an orientation to the geography of the island, which is roughly the size of Manhattan. I learned about its various ecosystems: forests, salt marshes, and undeveloped beaches, as well as its historic sites. In a week’s time, I exposed 40 rolls of medium format film, which I am now scanning, printing, and organizing in order to form a visual statement of my experiences and to inform the next expedition we will make in August of 2017.
In reviewing the images that I’ve made so far, I’m finding that what draws me to the island is its unique and sublime natural beauty—its brilliant sunrises and sunsets, its salt marshes in various shades of green, its windswept beaches sometimes occupied by wild horses, its diverse forms of plant life and wildlife. However, the photographs cannot be seen as mere reflections on beauty. Cumberland Island is threatened by climate change. Temperatures and sea levels are rising; droughts, floods and storms are gaining in intensity. The images and recordings that we make may become a document of lost historic sites, and inundated landscapes. This knowledge adds urgency to our project and drives our desire to exhibit and publish the work as a lasting document.