Saturday, July 30, 2011

Urban Forest - A thought process on Nature vs. City

This slide show is a visual thought process on a theme that is close to what I am already working on for my current series. However, since it is a theme for an upcoming juried exhibition, I decided to go (with Gina)  on a photo exhibition into San Francisco to get ideas and see what I could find that reminded me of what an "Urban Forest" might look like. The very thought is a contradiction unto itself. A forest, which is an ecosystem created by nature, usually evokes visions of green trees, plant life, some animals, sources of water, and very few people. However, something urban is born of a city and usually can be found a variety of presentations, all quite often appearing artificial and separate from anything natural. However, what I find fascinating, as I explore this subject, is the varying degrees of efforts used to blend the city scape with a nature scape that calls to mind images of a forest, or aspects of a forest at least. It creates a unique contrast of organic and human-made objects that often bring either peace or good feelings to people. One thing you can notice, at least from my view, is that when a city incorporates more natural forms and objects into the city-scape, people gravitate more to that than if it were simply concrete, steel, and glass. In these photos of the slide show, the forms and contrast are more of the focus than the interaction with people, but it is an unmistakeable attraction of people when the soft forms of trees, flowers, and shrubs contrast the hard edges of buildings, bridges, and streets. I particularly like the contrast of the sculptural founntain in Embarcadero Plaza, because the fluidity of the flowing water created such a stark contrast to the hard, geometric forms created to funnel the water through the fountain system. Flowing water is the center of a thriving ecosystem for a forest. Trees and plans need water, just as people. It was unmistakeable how popular the flowing water was...and the hard stone, while in the form of some very un-natural geomtric shapes were layered with some very familiar earth and stone textures to call to mind rocks that are often found with flowing water. All of this, in short, is just the beginning of a thought process of where I will go with this new work. I hope people like the slide show, and, always, please feel free to comment.



  1. Please look for new art work to soon follow that reflects the photo slide show...I draw ideas from what I see and photograph! Talk to you all soon!

  2. I found this very interesting, the contrast of nature in the urban setting, as you point out. It does seem an attempt to keep nature in daily life, to somehow have harmony. Great photos, I love the bay area. Looking forward to the artwork.