For me photography is an exploration. I explore and learn about a subject by making photos; sometimes returning to the same places and subjects many times until I understand them and get the photos right. Sometimes I see a subject and I know what image I am going to make, but many times I intend to take one image and after much staring and prying and listening I return with a much different, and better image.
I worked on this project and stared at the Chiapan landscape for over a year and I learned a lot. I learned that a simple field in the middle of the forest can become a sacred ground for holding the remains of our ancestors. I learned that wherever water springs out of the ground is a sacred and hallowed place. I learned that an abused and dried up wetland can be restored. I learned that a small pond, less than a kilometer from the center of town can be a majestically beautiful place. I learned that people will find a way to live, carving milpa out of a small city plot or a rocky hillside. I learned that much of Chiapas is covered with a thin layer of arable soil that is easily eroded. I learned that sacred mountains can be profaned. I learned that some people see the landscape a living thing, or as the home of the gods, something sacred, holy and numinous. Others see it as an opportunity, a place to extract gravel, clear trees, throw our garbage; a place to be profaned.
Prints of this series are available here.