An artist has the unique opportunity to not only absorb ideas and portray them creatively to evoke awareness of a particular subject, but to stir the imagination in a way that can spur the viewer into action.

Such was the case with writer John McPhee, whose classic book, The Pine Barrens, prompted New Jersey Governor Brendan T. Byrne to sign into legislation the protection of the book’s subject. Near the tail-end of a book which drew the reader into slices of life in the Pine Barrens, Byrne read: “It would appear that the Pine Barrens are not very likely to be the subject of dramatic decrees or acts of legislation. They seem to be headed slowly towards extinction.”

Byrne, as governor, was in a position to make a difference after reading those words. He set into motion state legislation, which also became federal protection of the Pine Barrens – an area that occupies twenty-two percent of the most densely populated state in the country. Its 1.1 million acres is a testament to forgotten vestiges of time and place. Bog iron, glass and charcoal industries rose and fell here. Each new industry at the time spoke to the striving of man versus nature in an attempt to harvest the land for income.

Despite state and federal protection, more and more of this history and culture are being lost forever. Over the past several years, I have had the chance to discover the Pine Barrens in a way that most people do not. I am intrigued by this place and wish to introduce others to this area through my art.

My goal is the preservation of space; to heighten the awareness of this incredible site. I plan to invite the viewer into this space by tapping into two of the most important senses and capturing them on different planes. Through this non-linear audio visual presentation, I hope to encourage a dialogue between the viewer and the scenes and voices I have recorded. The use of video is aimed at evoking a dialectic between the presented piece and its actual location. An additional audio track will piece together fragments of history, folklore and memories as the individuality of voice and its unique patterns help to further connect the person to the place.

My work is designed to gain the attention of the viewer, helping them to discover slices of life in the Pine Barrens and why the area is in need of our ongoing protection. The preservation of this space is a challenge I hope to encourage in those who view my art.