Lakes and rivers are one of Minnesota’s most abundant and precious resources; they sustains livelihoods, supports communities, and forms a core part of the way people identify as Minnesotan. Locally, rivers and the natural areas that surround them assume a formidable presence in the lives of area residents: the Buffalo and Red Rivers, as well as their tributaries define the contours of the valley landscape and reassert their presence each spring through — what are often catastrophic — floods.
Images from my project, “Minnesota Watershed” document and interpret the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District in northwestern Minnesota through manipulated landscape images. Through the use of portable studio lights I aimed to create imaginative, fantastical images of the rivers, river banks and adjacent woodlands that attend to the myth, spirit, and deeply felt connection residents have to their natural systems. Further, by drawing upon the narrative quality of colored gels, I sought to highlight the dynamism within these spaces.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Lakes Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.