I started What If The Trees Wore Clothes in August of 2017 with the help of my husband, Alex, behind the lens. It spanned over the course of a year, visually highlighting the 4 seasons through a series of raw, untouched captures. What began as whimsical frolics in the woods turned into deep reflection and intuitive observations, eventually unfurling into a self assigned project. A project which emphasizes our connection to the natural world through body image. A mission encouraging us to see ourselves in nature and nature within ourselves. The time I spent in the trees, skin to skin with mother earth, I saw intrinsic beauty in the textures of her body. I saw veins in stones, ripples on the surface of her sacred waters, uneven, worn, and weathered compositions that resemble what we as humans see in ourselves as flaws. Wrinkles, rolls, uneven skin, cellulite, all that we condemn in our human bodies we worship in awe of in nature.
How quick are we to shame a naked body yet praise a landscape? How often do we look at ourselves seeing only pure beauty? Do we know our flaws better than we know who we are without them? Are we offended by our own nature and nature herself? We cast judgements over the woman who shows more of her body than what’s widely accepted, we look at ourselves and chastise cellulite, stretch marks, visible veins, folds, and whatever other imperfections we see. Deeming ourselves less than, casting off our self acceptance, and settling further into insecurity. Insecurities that are grossly profited off of.
But when immersed in nature do we pick apart her every texture? Do we criticize the veins in rocks or the shapes of the trees? Do we think the oceans ripples are repulsive or the way in which a river carves a canyon to be anything less than extraordinary? Are the mountains too old, too wide, too tall, or not enough? Are sunrises and sunsets too sultry? And What If The Trees Wore Clothes? Wouldn’t that be odd? Wouldn’t that be unnatural? We have become so separate from what we are. We look at nature in wonderment yet we’re often blind to our own reflection in natures divinity. We have become distant from our life source, from our essence and in turn all other living, breathing beings. We look at life through artificial frames that dilute our perception to see what’s real and true, blinding and binding us into fearful projections, and pinning us against ourselves and one another. What If The Trees Wore Clothes is intended to make us think of the world we live in -in relation to the world we are created from, our innate connection to the seasons, the stars in the sky, the sun, moon, and tides. The undeniable influence of the place we reside and which lives inside each of us.
Many thoughtful developments have blossomed since exploring myself, in relation to the earth in this way. I can’t help but see the correlation between the way we as humans treat and deplete the earth very similarly to our own bodies which are earths in their own right. We act with urgency to rebuild structures but hesitate to invest in each other, in the earth, and in ways that help us all instead of a select few. I’ve come to the realization this is a lifetime project for all of us. A path of remembering, rediscovering, and cultivating reverence for ourselves, for the earth.