Dispersed Camping Tree Stories

This upcoming photographic series is dedicated to the trees I have seen on my recent adventures in the dispersed camping areas of Oregon. Most of this series will be shot on film, but I thought I would include a few digital photos to give folks an idea of the project.

Packing up our belongings, storing some but taking much of what we own with us, my husband and I decided to leave Portland and explore many of the back roads and remote areas along several key rivers. We travel and camp along these by-ways, trying to re-discover ourselves, searching for ideas and examples of “Home” in the forests and habitats which many other species dwell. I will be documenting the condition of the trees where we camp each night.

I was first intrigued by modern human artifacts when I embarked on a solo coastal backpacking trip a few years back. My curiosity grew to concern, however, after finding so much trash and seeing so many trees damaged in many back-country camping areas. My worry is for the health of the trees and our species alike. What does it say about us humans that when we venture to a peaceful setting, we shoot, stab, cut, chop, stake, carve, tie and strip the very forest area we go to enjoy? Is it our supposed separation from these environments or ourselves that makes it easy to do this? Is it frustration with our plastic over-working economic gain-based world? Is it just as easy to pound a stake into a tree as it is to dump paint or old tires into our water sources? Do our constant heinous logging techniques make these actions pale in comparison, or just illuminate an overarching colonial attitude of conquer and control? I don’t believe we can categorize this behavior only as pure thoughtlessness or drunken irresponsibility. In the coming months, I hope to find out through investigation and tree stories, just what these cruel messages can teach us. At the very least, bring some of the behavior to light, in a sort of ‘ground-truthing’ photo experiment. More to come…

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December 2015 Art Show: PDX

 

‘An Exploration of the Fifth Season…’   by Spencer Fisher  …Photographs and Wall Sculptures

If anyone happens to be in Portland-town any time during the month of December, I will be showing some new work at Miss Zumstein Bakery and Coffee Shop (5027 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97218). The opening reception is SATURDAY, December 5th, from 4-6, whereby we will celebrate with drinks, snacks and the much anticipated unveiling of the BLUEMAN SUIT. Some of the work I have posted about in the last few months will be included in this show, but much of it is new. Let’s see what more we can learn…

The following is my artist statement for this upcoming show. Thank you to all who have made this possible.

What is the ‘Fifth Season’?

The Fifth Season is at once the actual time signature of my second round of being in Portland and an addendum season to the four we are used to. In that regard, the Fifth Season is described as our emotional season, or our response to the peaks and valleys of our existence, through time. This can mean taking shelter during turbulence, or it can mean opening up to difficulties and seeking learning, acceptance and atonement—as an agreement of being human: I will be curious, move forward with respect and allow change.

As humans and artists, we all have the capacity to create lightening at any given time, even from dormancy. As a seed pushes up with seemingly no agenda except to live and fulfill a cirque of energy, I am trying to achieve this.

I have found a stride of work I am continually fascinated with. Photography, drawing, painting, making sculptures, sewing and music—all investigations really—these help me create relevance and remind me to value the gifts of each day. My methodology includes using essences of travel, dreams, studying relationships and found objects. My art then offers this vehicle for thought exploration and different ways of paying attention.

The Fifth Season also offers a chance at intimacy, if we let it. As humans, we have a lot of investigating to do of our place on Earth—our place in the galaxy. We have issues with object relationships and how we relate to one another. How we deal with our trash, for example, or ‘invasive’ species, ocean and river pollution, or war, says a lot about our willingness to evolve, ignore or control. My nature is to continually try to make things better along the way, but sometimes it is necessary only to breathe and to listen.

Definition of Season:

  1. one of the four periods of the year (spring,summer, autumn, and winter), beginning astronomically at an equinox or solstice, but geographically at different dates in different climates.
  2. a period of the year characterized by particular conditions of weather, temperature, etc.: the rainy season.
  3. a period of the year when something is best or available: the oyster season.
  4. any period or time: in the season of my youth.