In earlier projects I have attempted to investigate the rural lands of the Southern Plains and its loss to an ever-expanding society. I have investigated this topic from multiple approaches ranging from landscape photographs, small town life, environmental portraits, self-portraits as well as the “fabricated to be photographed” tableau narrative. As a whole, the images include a continued exploration of the landscape and beg the question: Does place hold memory? From the straightforward photographs to the constructed dioramas, I explored our inherent treatment of the raw landscape as well as questioned the veracity of photography. This fascination with photography as deception led me to understand how the camera can serve as a tool that allows the observer to situate their self within the idealized vista – permitting the dismantling of the historical layers witnessed in the images.

While engaging these themes, I was living in Florida for many years. Being away from Oklahoma is what drove me to investigate these once familiar places from a fresh perspective. The documentary photographs were made on bi-yearly trips to visit my family in Southwest Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. The dioramas were constructed in a small studio space in Tampa. Over time the work grew through continued efforts to see things differently with each visit home. After much involvement with documenting the western landscape, I took a new direction with my photography. Rather than commenting on the history of a place, I embraced a more snapshot aesthetic of fleeting moments and other subtle subjects. The process allowed me to concentrate on the simplicity of the objects and my relationship to them.

Recently, in my series Encounters, I have been looking at domestic spaces that I have occupied and various public outings around my current residence in Florida. For the longest time it was challenging to relate to this place. The only way to transcend my process of seeing was to start by saying something about my new home. Even if the images come across as easily understood, that can be the grace of the work. Excluding extraneous subject matter, I noticed that the scenes were more introspective than my previous photographs. Though I do not anticipate audiences will fully understand them, perhaps some will walk away with a more intimate connection with their strangely familiar presence. The scenes are not representative of Florida or any other place. Rather, they are a closer look at the curious nature of the mundane.

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