April 22, 2020 – Celebrating Earth Day and National Park Week. Of the many trees I’ve documented over the years, I’m choosing this photo for Earth Day.
Tree Fortification was photographed last summer on Peddocks Island during my Boston Harbor Islands National Parks Artist in Residence. These trees tower over concrete walls known as Battery Whitman, (once active coast defense mortars) and are part of the remaining fortifications at Fort Andrews on the East Head side of Peddocks. In modern day, the trees provide shelter and food—natural protection for the deer who roam freely about the island. Daily encounters among these trees are a big part of my journal.
This ritual of photo documenting and writing about trees and their surroundings led me along thick canopied pathways and along the shore where tree roots continue to decay by encroaching tide levels and sun exposure. I am in awe of the island trees presence, for their fortitude and beauty, in all stages of life.
Over the month of August 2019, my incredible project, Quilting the Islands Together, took me to various islands sharing stories through art with people from all over the world. Each art square told a story and was later stitched together in my yurt forming an impressive quilt. Trees became subject material for many of the drawings in the quilt. Spending so much time in nature was pure joy. I loved every moment of exploration, including some new locations I had never photographed. When the time is right, I’ll be back on the islands to continue my journey with the trees and beyond.
Until then—stay green. ~Robin