Activist and international award-winning photographer Patricia Houghton Clarke turns her lens to the nourishing calm, peace, and wonder found in nature in her latest exhibition, Primal Wild, a Redwood Series. Spotlighting her images of the California redwoods, a project she began shooting in 2014, Clarke takes a deep dive into the natural, primal world of these giant trees. The entire show is composed of analog images, taken exclusively with a plastic Holga camera, reflecting a yearning for the quiet and wisdom of our ancient, majestic forests.
Shooting the Primal Wild series offered Clarke a rare moment of calm and peace in contrast to her other work. As an artist working with very heavy issues, the redwoods offer a place of reflection and renewal to fortify her other work. Unfortunately, these ancient forests are under threat from wildfires and drought, and they may become history if we do not fight to save them. Clarke will donate partial proceeds from her book Facing Ourselves: Reckoning to organizations that are doing this important work.
Clarke and Silo118 have collaborated in the past. The gallery supports Clarke’s ongoing work in Facing Ourselves, the project in which she examines the lives of the “other”: migrants, immigrants, people of color, Indigenous people, gender fluidity — and their efforts to assimilate into life in foreign places or places where they are not always welcome. Silo118 supported Clarke’s book Facing Ourselves: Reckoning which covered the Black Lives Matter protests, the pandemic, integration, and compassion.
Clarke also has a new series in the works: Facing Ourselves: A Family Story, exploring her complex family history in order to try to understand how we can create loving, compassionate, and accepting communities.
Primal Wild, A Redwood Series is on view at Silo118 (118 Gray St.) from October 14-29, with an opening reception on October 15, 5-7 p.m., and an Artist Talk on October 29, 3 p.m. For more information, visit silo118.com.