Mark Dixon

The isolation we often seek for solace, respite, creativity, or even reward has a very different feel when it is imposed. Partly from the inherent uncertainty and hardship, but also because it is our nature to chafe under compliance. We are all finding ways to become adaptive; some with remarkable altruism, others in self-indulgent “survival”.

I have been discovering and exploring many of the local land trust preserves and associated trails. Through a series of events, both geologic and personal, I live in an environment shaped by retreated glaciers. These glaciers found their terminus somewhere between my backyard and Long Island. Massive erratics, valleys strewn with boulders, exposed ledges, and cobbles dominate large parts of the landscape. Just try to dig a hole in your yard. These rocks were all placed or exposed by the whims of the glaciers, physics, and probability. But in some cases they have been altered by hands. Abandoned foundations, rudimentary fireplaces, and long linear stonewalls, of the sort that inspired Robert Frost, were all built by Colonial settlers. The clusters of cairns, serpents, and standing stones are of a more mysterious and debatable origin. I find these all very fascinating, hopefully not an obsession in germination. Moss and lichens covering the stones, ferns sprouting in shaded wet areas, and seasonal swelling streams add to the sense of a primal landscape. This all makes for beautiful hikes that lend to social distancing; hikes I would have otherwise passed by.

Most of my images are of people or how people influence their environment. My training as a scientist helps my see details, understand relationships, and record information. I have worked hard at gaining a creative aesthetic to go with my observational skills. I have been fortunate enough to have my work exhibited in galleries and to become an elected artist in several art centers. I also have had the good luck to travel on several artists residencies. My goal is to continue to improve as a photographer and explore more ways to reach a broader audience.

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