‘In Wildness is the Preservation of the World.’ - Henry David Thoreau
We are interested in identifying and archiving disappearing tree species and preserving them through the traditional landscape portraiture aspect of our work, most recently focusing on the effects of the severe drought conditions in the forests of California and the West Coast. An Artist Residency in Southern India also inspired investigation into global water issues and how disappearing species affect ecosystems and local fauna. Each work offers a poem to the land as it changes form - a songscape. As a body of work it’s an ode to the temporal nature of all things, juxtaposing personal relationship to place with psuedoscientific observation and documentation.
As much as the work started out to be about us and our longing for a re-connection to nature, a story of stillness and the passage of time has emerged, a narrative resounding of the network of communication and inherent intelligence that reflects our own investigations and connections as humans walking the earth. Aligned with the revelations of Naturalists like Thoreau and John Muir, Song of Absolution not only refers to the lyrical aesthetic of the work, but to the redemptive quality that has become a part of the process in creating it.
Lawrence and Kuhlmann have been collaborating for over a decade. Lawrence studied painting at the Kansas City Art Institute and Death Midwifery in Topanga Canyon. She’s influenced by the lush disappearing landscapes of her youth and explorations in loving the fact that everything dies, while Kuhlmann brings years of earned mastery and a classical eye to his work, both in technique and process.
The images from this series are printed with archival ink on virgin craft paper and hand varnished to ensure longevity- with a wish that each species of the trees themselves far outlast the archives.