For eight years I have constructed images of the vanishing Tallgrass Prairie as a metaphor for Mother Natures influence upon land and self. The vast skies, distant horizons and extreme space provide a climate of self awareness and understanding. My daily existence in this dimension on earth continues to motivate and define my artistic journey through life. Prairyerth, a Native American term for prairie soil, is the first installment in what will be a life long pursuit to capture and promote the conservation of this unique ecosystem.
The Tallgrass prairie once saturated more than 140 million acres of the United States, stretching from North Dakota to Texas. Less than 4 percent of this once vast prairie grassland survives today, making it one of the rarest and most endangered ecosystems in the world, as noted by the National Park Service. It was once the continent's largest continuous ecosystem, today it still hosts 400 species of plants, nearly 150 species of birds, 39 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 31 species of mammals. The largest remaining area still left unplowed is the Flint Hills region of Kansas and Oklahoma. This physiographic region averages 60 miles wide and stretches from the Nebraska border, south into northern Oklahoma. In addition, no other ecosystem in America removes as much carbon emission from the atmosphere as the prairie grasslands providing further evidence of its significance.
The innate beauty and uniqueness of the Tallgrass Prairie has instilled an over whelming desire to bring awareness to this vanishing ecosystem. My passion for photography is challenged through it's great expanse of time and space. Through visual stimulation I intend to preserve and promote this unique corner of the earth.