There was a shopping mall

Now it's all covered with flowers

you've got it, you've got it


If this is paradise

I wish I had a lawnmower

you've got it, you've got it


–Talking Heads, (Nothing But) Flowers



First of all, I am saying that wilderness is everywhere. Not just in the oceans, not just in the deserts and the mountain ranges, but everywhere. It trickles down the staircase of the minaret and into the prayer hall of the great mosque at Damascus. It seeps through the filters of the air-cooling plants at Rockefeller Center. But at the same time, I am saying that the whole world is now cultivated and bears the marks of it. High on Everest, Snickers wrappers nestle in the snow. Plastic bottles ride the Gulf Stream. Radio waves, carrying coded messages, cascade across the atmosphere.


–Paul Shepheard, The Cultivated Wilderness




These pictures began as photographs of flowers in areas cultivated to be enhanced versions of wild or native flora, and of rock piles in spaces both natural and human-altered. From these original photographs, I digitally removed anything not illuminated directly by the sun, then replaced these shadow areas with bright, flat color. Although this process of replacing shadows is straightforward in both idea and technique, the resulting images hit on a complex and unresolvable tension between a vision of stylized and contained nature and the uncontrolled organic chaos of the natural world.