Thursday, 11 August 2016

Divinity in the Swamp

Swamps are often depicted as wild, dangerous, unnavigable places.  Many times they are some of each of those things.  

They are most certainly magical.  


Our Apache Model Sparrowhawk 

Swamps hold water - they purify it.  Swamps decay organic matter and turn it into rich soil for new life.  Swamps are sanctuaries for many species not otherwise seen and certainly in this time, remain strongholds of wilderness amongst suburban sprawl.  

Swamps require us to let go of thoughtless motion and existence if we want to enter them.  We must be prepared for walking, swimming, and the precarious sprawled belly walk on the floating peat. What looks like ground is water, and what looks like water is ground. Nothing can be taken for granted.

I've been drawn to these places while founding PMF.  They are both critical to ecosystems health and also totally under appreciated. They complete the circle of life and take what was old to make it new again - much as I attempt to do.   A wet, dark place where life is born anew and kept safe from the quick changes of forests and plains at the hands of unending growth of western capitalism. At times we bulldoze soil into them, or brazenly force roads through them.  Inevitably those developments flood - rot, and in the case of the swamp by our house and former dairy farm - require endless trapping of beaver.

This past year our town stopped trapping.  The beaver flooded the swamp road.  My Grandpere fumed at the beaver (he's a righteous piece of Quebecois grizzle and still has a six pack at 85) for killing the cedar that had grown in the swamp during the century after they had been trapped out of Massachusetts. They were good fence posts for the dairy farm says he!   But it was not closed out of a love for beaver, but rather the 15 foot drop on either side of the road that cars can disappear into which closed the road.  Liability's a bitch.

Regardless - this hot, steamy, dark, wild place played host to our photo shoot this weekend after a flash storm.  Our team was incredible and in particular the models who braved unsteady ground for some epic shots.   Many thanks to our brilliant team, Connecticut Renaissance Faire for our costume pieces,  and a deep bow to the Swamp.  We will be sure to keep you posted about both the final images and the exhibition!


Beautiful Alexandra pausing for the emerging sun 


Photographer: Morten Smidt NYC
MUA: Irene Kim

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