ruminations on a series of unrelated events
Last summer (2015) I was awarded a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. My proposal, The Virgin Forest Project, has me visiting three Indiana virgin forests in all four seasons where I am shooting a series of immersive Ultra-High Definition (4K-UHD) films. Each film will consist of a series of long, slow-tracking shots that invite audiences to experience the sights and sounds of the forests. The forests I am visiting are Donaldson Woods (in Spring Mill State Park near Mitchell), Wesselman Woods (in Evansville) and Meltzer Woods near Shelbyville.
Somehow these forests were spared the axe that was the fate of all the others. What are the stories that resulted in the preservation of these particular forests? These histories will be presented in a website that will also invite the public to comment on their personal knowledge of and experiences with these forests. In doing so I hope to connect the public to a conversation regarding the history that shaped the forests’ preservation and create a public forum for their consideration. In addition the website will host creative and scholarly work on virgin forests east of the Mississippi.
As of today I have completed six of my twelve planned shoots, most recently shooting in Donaldson Woods last Sunday (April 17th) and the week before I was in Wesselman Woods for a cool rainy day shoot. Even though it is mid-April there are surprisingly few leaves, or even buds on many of the trees, especially at Donaldson woods which is farther north than Wesselman. The tulip poplar trees seem to be the earliest leafing tree in both forests. Next weekend it is back to Meltzer woods in Shelbyville. Maybe there will be a few more leaves by then. I wish I had the option to wait a few more weeks, but I will be leaving the country soon for a projects in Europe and Africa. (stay tuned.)