David Wolf and I met in Portland at PhotoLucida. We had a lovely conversation, and I enjoyed his body of work, Nurturing Time. His architectural, colorful and textured images were perfect for a rainy spring day in April. He is also one of the lucky invitees to Lishui, and I am looking forward to them brightening up a cold November day.
The project’s working method bridges the disparate practices of found and staged photography to explore how we regard our natural surroundings as we nurture, shape and control them. The series depicts the human presence in Nature in the form of arrangements made from flowers and plants selected from the photographer’s garden, and places them amidst the cycle of growth, decay and rebirth that unfolds there.
To create the assemblages I isolate the plants individually, and arrange and combine them to make associations or suggest contradictions. A simple cardboard box serves as both neutral container and conceptual envelope to display the arrangements. This working practice is itself a metaphor for how we contain and manipulate Nature.
Beyond typology, “Nurturing Time” offers us the richness of the garden and illuminates our connection to it. The assembled flower boxes resonate with a range of emotion, reflecting our own experience of the cycle of life that embraces vitality and decay, abundance and loss. Memory—Time’s shadow—is present here, too, as events and lives are evoked and memorialized by these images.