This work was inspired by the dramatic views at Fort Ross, along the northern coast in Sonoma County near Jenner, California.
After a short hike through weather beaten fields and forest, followed by an exploration of the lives lived at a Russian fort, I arrive at the enormous cliffs overlooking the shore, an overwhelming view. Once I’ve caught my breath, closer examination of the shore from above provides dizzying spectacles; impossibly bright colors and movement under the water evolve into abalone hunters surfacing to their rigs while their partners, mere dots from above, await on shore. Seaweed pushed and pulled by the tide, slaps enormous boulders engulfed by surf, then suddenly exposed. A short but treacherously steep hike down to the shore is rewarded with lush vegetation and a small peaceful beach. Dried out dead thistles stand as sentinels to all the comings and goings, while a marshy area hides some horsetail ferns, a personal favorite.
Having grown up in a colder climate with a different range of flora, I am enthralled when I see horsetail ferns no matter what stage of life. Early shoots just developing or old and leggy plants ready to return to the earth, looking at them transports me to another world. It is not surprising therefore, that the horsetail ferns I saw that day dominated my thoughts as I began this work.
My making process begins by scanning gestures (dragging my fingers over a scanner), which are the only source used to produce this work. As I collage the captured fingerprints together they turn into new objects, in this case the horsetail fern.