…Umwelt (OOM-velt) is a German word that literally means…‘the world around’. [It] signifies the perceived world, the world sensed by an animal, a view idiosyncratic to each species, fueled by its particular sensory and cognitive powers and limited by its deficits. But not only dogs and bees have umwelts, all animals do, even humans. We might call it reality, but it is indeed an umwelt, an idiosyncratic sensory picture of the living world around us.
– Carol Kaesuk Yoon
Naming Nature: The Clash Between Nature and Science
I often take the physical world for granted. It is during the unexpected moments that I am made deeply aware of the power of visual perception. I find myself wondering what it might be like to experience the world through another species’ eyes – perhaps how a dog might perceive its environment differently from that of a bumble bee.
I think about the power of color, imaginably while lying in turquoise grass staring up at a purple sky. So much of our cognitive emotion and cultural associations are shaped by color perception. What if the signal of “go” weren’t green, but lavender?
I long to witness the constants of daily life a bit differently. The idea of physical and emotional metamorphosis is central to this body of work. The photographic process runs parallel to my mind’s eye, allowing me to see and imagine without limits.
The world before me can be wondrous, requiring only to be documented. At other times, its hidden wonders need visual intervention: mediating natural forms and qualities of light, and transforming often-overlooked details into something much more experiential.
*All photos shot on film, manipulated in camera only*