ALL YE MERRY PILGRIMS / PROJECT STATEMENT
This series explores the nostalgia, haunted heritage, and historical narrative regarding one of America’s oldest towns, a coastal village in Massachusetts.
The small New England village of Sandwich inspired my lifelong fascination with mysterious landscapes. Salt swamps protruding with the bones of sun-greyed trees coexist with the lichen-covered stone slabs in the ancient village graveyards; hazy mists emerge and disappear; the deep Atlantic Ocean seems at times immeasurable. The land aches with age, yet shines youthfully in the sunlight of an August afternoon. As night draws near, thick quiet descends and the subsequent solitude is shocking. Something about this place is strange and magical, reminiscent of an H.P. Lovecraft story (“The Dunwich Horror,” to be precise). The secret doctrine of the supernatural—commonly known as the occult—seems plausible in this fantastic setting. Imminent, even. Here, the American storytelling tradition in the vein of the terrible uncanny thrives. Here, the American primitive is alive and well, replete with an ancestral fear of the Wild. Here is where the Puritans struggled with the threat of the chaotic unknown; Nature became both a metaphorical and literal threat of the depths of the unconscious. Delving deeper to America’s European roots, we find that the Pagan traditions of the Germanic Alps add another metaphor to this milleu: the human as a wild monster, in alliegance with the wilds of nature. The tension between man and nature unfolds.
Through large-format photographs, digital collages, and short films, my work made between 2007-2009 explores these thematic traditions of myth, symbolism, and the occult.