Our surroundings have implications for our experience of the world and reveal hints about the culture around it. I treasure the city and try to make space for quiet contemplation within it. The series When the trees are gone imagines city dwellers searching for moments of relaxation in a world shaped by climate change, struggling between an environment in crisis and human-made structures.
The question of the struggle between nature and the built environment is ever more central in urban life. In these images, relaxed beachgoers find themselves amidst carefully composed urban settings in front of dramatic skies. They search without seeming to find what they are looking for. The beach becomes rising tides, threatening the very foundation of the city. The clash of nature and city results in an absurd profusion of visual noise and little relief.
The resulting images lay bare challenges to both my urban fantasy and to city planners, and the problematic nature of the future that lies ahead for humanity and the planet. Benign at first glance, the viewer soon becomes aware that something about the images seems off. The compositions carry unsettling undertones as they suggest an apocalyptic future wrought by climate change.