In 2015 I was given a 3 month assignment in Brazil. My travels had me primarily stationed off the coast of Sao Paulo on an island called Ilhabela. Fortunately, I was able to bounce around small neighboring fishing communities as well as islands like Victoria and Buzios. I was able to witness first hand communities living directly with the offerings of the ocean. The fallowing year I made my way to the Misiones Province of Argentina. I spent most of my time in San Ignacio, Posadas, Libertad, and Iguazu. I became tangled within the connecting network of rivers and waterways. Everyday felt as if the jungle was moving in and about to engulf me. In a sense it did swallow my spirit. I feel a piece of be belongs to the jungle and to the water. Mother nature is savage and wild. However, the people who live in these areas are resilient and happy. I learn a lot about what it is to be human when traveling. South America has a special place in my heart. I receive daily visions of memories from my experiences there. I was consistently greeted with smiles, open arms, and shared visions of a better world. These are the people the inspire me the most.
In 2008, I began taking long road trips throughout the United States. I first fallowed my heart to New Mexico. I had been called to the enchanted lands for years, but I never really knew why. Needless to say, every visit has been a fulfilling sip from the fountain of life. This only grew my curiosity for what beauty was out there. My wanderlust for the open road led me to many life changing experiences and connections with some really beautiful kindred spirits. I usually chose to travel by myself and for segments of around three months. I began taking trips from Georgia to Maine and later New Orleans to Nova Scotia. I cherish time alone in the car and feel it offers a chance for reflection and observation to simultaneously collaborate in ways productive for the soul. Eventually I decided to convert a white Chevy cargo van in to a incognito camper van. Hidden behind the flakey white paint and plumber motif is a magical mobil cabin constructed from lumber milled from my Appalachian hideaway and recycled pallets. This allowed for me to really dive deeper in to the rambling life style which I had become addicted to. I sought out to learn from new places and even more so with the intentions of "finding myself." As my travels continued I found myself lost in all the right ways. Eventually, I had slithered through forty two states. Every place reveals its unique charm and woven songs. I have come to believe that truly connecting with yourself stems down to the roots of soul and the ability to love yourself. Here you learn to be quiet and listen. Here you build your character and respect for life. These photographs where taken during my travels.
LUNA BABY AND THE CHARIOT OF LOVE
My time spent living in New Orleans has been one of the most influential experiences of my life. I quickly found myself swallowed amongst the pedals of her full blossom and pollinated by the community that keeps her driving. Luna Baby and The Chariot of Love was my first attempt to be a pollinator in this city and an offering for the magic she had opened to me. Made from a 1950's Indonesian Bakak Rickshaw, a pair of silver mannequin legs, antique camera bellow, and some other found objects, I assembled a make shift photo boot. At 6AM, Mardi Gras morning, I maneuvered Luna Baby's 200 pound fixed gear attitude from Carrolton Ave to the intersection of Esplanade and Decatur. I then set up a ceremonial space with burning candles, magnolia branches, and a subtle draft of incense to help gather folks in passing for a quick photo session. This was my first attempt at performance art and quickly found my flow with charming people into spending time with me and Luna. The space felt invisible and created an interesting perspective of such a unique festival. Here are the photographs from that day.
After my experience with Luna Baby and The Chariot of Love I decided to pursue taking her out amongst different area's in the town to continue documenting. However, I was quickly shut down for being "to bohemian" and unable to obtain an art venders permit from New Orleans City Hall because photography is not considered an art . . .
Her colorful soul was donated to Krewe of Chewbacchus and Krewe De Vieux to continue shifting here love through the streets of New Orleans.
Big Chief Bryce
For most people that are not native to New Orleans, Mardi Gras can be a time to romp around“Nawlin’s” with no concern for community, tradition, or spirituality. However, since moving to New Orleans 6 year’s ago I have found the exact opposite for myself. She has showed me the magic that has been so deeply rooted here in the swampy South. I am consistently amazed at the plethora of beautiful people that weave the fabric of this community. Furthermore, I have spent my time here weary of bringing my camera out to document traditions I knew very little about. For me personally I felt it was important to commit myself to New Orleans before being able to share New Orleans. That is until this year I was invited to photography a Mardi Gras Indian. For most photographers this can be a huge opportunity to gorge their selves on exploiting the beauty of what lies behind the vibrant feathers and shimmering beads. This is primarily the reason why I have felt a responsibility not to partake in the paparazzi extravaganza. Regardless, this year was different and I humbly took this opportunity as a sign that New Orleans would share with me her soul once again. What I wasn’t prepared for was a story in heritage, motherly love, and a passage of man.
The camera is a portal to many worlds. It is for the photographer to choose their destiny and explore the realms of the unknown. Light shatters, bends, and twist. Darkness can swallow and at times cradle the most fragile beauty. It is in the small things that new landscapes form and mysterious lands awaken.
I can hear the sound of tree’s growing. Expanding in all directions, this song is alive. Tethered to time. Fragrant and haunting.
I have always been captivated by the complexity of tree’s. Each tree unique and strong. They all have their stories. It is so sweet of them to share their life with us. Every tree passing down a story to the next generation of humans. Some baring the signs of human life before. Some holding the weight of the fragile structures man has created in attempt to take over. However, it seems as if we have forgotten how to listen to the songs. It seems we have forgotten to dance among the pines and to frolic in the shadows of their generous gift of flickering shadows. This love has begun developing a expansive series called ROOTS. A collection of poetry and photographs concentrating on the essence of trees and life. ROOTS will be created in the form of a photo book with hidden love letters and journal entries through out. My plans are to release this project in 2019.
Visiting Bolivia and Peru sometimes felt as if I was going back in time. The relationship between the people and the land was incredibly inspirational. In many of these places the people were using the same irrigation systems that had been in place for hundreds of years. Their gardens fertile and abundant. Communities were bridged by the shared yields and collaboration. The people and land of these countries moved me as a creature of planet Earth and planted the seeds for future video projects on sustainable living, permaculture, food, and survival.