My point of entry as a photographer was an attempt to photograph the large-scale destruction of mountaintop removal mining in the coalfields of Central Appalachia. Overwhelmed and frustrated by the magnitude of what I was up against, the enormity of strip mining and the perceived threat of anyone speaking out against it, I stopped trying to make those pictures and moved on, but the issue was something I’ve never been able to move on from.
Now, I’m returning to the visual conversation of mountaintop removal mining with the series I’m tentatively calling Laid Bare, which introduces the nude form into the decimated landscapes left behind from this kind of mining. Framing form and land together to explore loss and vulnerability, I hope to collaborate in creating moments of beauty in the midst of vast destruction as a form of protest.
If you’ve been impacted by mountaintop removal mining or worked in the fight to end it and would like to participate, please contact me and share your story. I’d love to hear from you. (And before I thought I'd ask anyone else to pose nude for me, I thought I'd go first.)