Nature, folklore and the various processes of human awareness and perception are subjects that greatly interest me. As a result of these interests, the ongoing project Of Augur and Auspice originates from a fascination with the extraordinary “signs” and narratives that can be discovered within the natural landscape of the Pacific Northwest.
The concept for the project is greatly influenced by the documented study of ancient Greek and Roman practices of augurium and auspicium, the art of divining—or telling of the future—especially by the behavior of birds, animals and the weather. Augur is thought to have been the interpretation of signs, and auspice or auspex was the actual observation or observer of these signs. The modern definitions of augur and of auspice retain remnants of the origins of these curious prophetic practices. My goal with the series is to reveal these otherworldly occurrences in the terrain where humankind is peripheral to the scene
Of Augur and Auspice is shot in the depths of old growth forests, secluded woodlands, untouched mountainsides and remote shorelines, where much wilderness and folklore remains intact. The project reveals these hidden places in the landscape where animals, plants, monsters and creatures live a disparate existence from the human experience. Various "signs" are carefully imbedded in each image through the placement of costumed models, props, hunting decoys and postproduction phenomena to be discovered and interpreted.
Initially, when viewed, the images might be perceived as traditional landscape photography, although, on closer inspection, one can discover numerous unexpected happenings within each complex construction. The extensive flora and fauna within each photograph provides an incredibly lush and haunting backdrop for recalling the myths and legends committed to collective memory.