The Trees Will Outlive Us
Since I was a small child I would go out to the farm on the Montauk Highway homesteaded by my great grandfather over a century ago. My father and my grandmother were both born and raised on this farm which represents a very different epoch in the history of the Hamptons than what exists there today. On one of my visits, before she died, my grandmother Anna pointed out two trees she planted in front of her house when she was a young mother. She told me that “the trees will outlive us,” and this prediction is the inspiration for this series I shot this summer when visiting the family farm. The farm is no longer a working farm and the structures and land are being consumed by the forest that was there on long before my family set foot on Long Island after arriving from Europe.
In this work I chose to composite images of the dilapidated farm structures with the encroaching forest to suggest the sacred transformation that is taking place here. While photographing I was confronted with paradoxical emotions of deep sadness and nostalgia while at the same time marveling at the incredible beauty of the natural systems taking hold here. It is the complexity of these emotions that I hope these images convey.