My series of color photographs, The Collector, is about giving in to the impulse to forage and to observe nature. For each image, I build an imaginary space to store and display a fictional collection. Plant cuttings, seedpods and insects are grouped by type and carefully arranged, yet neither the objects nor the structures have a life outside of the photographs.
Photography is both my means of translation, and my system of classification. I find subject matter within the meticulous methods of scientific observation. Gratuitous pinning, gridding, and the dissection of specimens are visual evidence of an obsessive personality behind the work – the authorship of the “collector.”
The collector is not necessarily me, but the scenario stems from my imagination and helps me to build pictures. While I am connected to the objects within my photos (gathering or raising them myself), in the end they exist for the camera. I’m assuming a role, and that character is, in turn, playing God. I plant the seeds, persuade them to grow, and then watch them die – instigating life and death.