"This is Your Brain on Nature"

Images made with 4x5 large format color film.

"We evolved in nature. It’s strange we’d be so disconnected.” Yet each year the average amount of time a person spends outside decreases while the chronic screen addiction prevails. As a result, we witness a worldwide increase in the number of people with obesity, depression, and nearsightedness. Research shows an easy and natural fix for this. Looking at natural elements like sunsets, streams, trees, or flowers, gives one a gentle and soft focus which allows for a more reflective state. In this state of nature-connectedness one can rest and recover, and in turn see an increase in mood, cognition, vitality, and life satisfaction.

This series of work explores the relationship between human connection and nature and the idea presented by the ancient proverb, “Shin to bul ee—Body and soil are one.”  The artist sets up a glass cube with printed images of landscapes-sunsets, oceans, and mountains- wallpapering the cube’s surface area. Grass and plant materials fill the inside of the cube, and above the object leaves and branches float suspended in the air canopying the structure. The bright blue background mimics the blues of a sky.

The artist choose to contain the setup inside of a glass cube, for the cube reminds the viewer of the technology-the flat screens, the computers, the distracting screens that distance ourselves from our natural roots. Landscape photographs, taken by the artist, cover the walls of the cube. The colors in the images give the viewer a calming feel that mimics what nature. Similarly, the grass and plant materials filling the cube remind the viewer of experiences they have had with plants and nature. Consequently, giving the viewer a placid and content feel that stirs up a longing for their memories in nature. Although these memories do not feel care free, for the cube-representing our generation’s strongest inhibitor- makes the viewer feel the generation’s struggle.

The artist shot the images from different angles in order to give the viewer different feels. The straight up view is most confrontational, while the above view makes the viewer feel most connected to nature and the double exposed image gives off the strongest sense of dreaminess and longing for the simplicity and happiness presented by nature.