Featured work

Burning Man Wisconsin

Baraboo, Wisconsin
Effigy Mounds were created in the southern portion of Wisconsin and adjacent parts of Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota by the native peoples of the area from approximately 800-1200 CE. These earthen monuments of birds and land animals typify the mounds. The only known human shaped effigy in the Midwest which still survives is Man Mound. It is 214 feet long. Archaeologists believe that the man wears a horned head-dress, possibly symbolizing a shaman.

First surveyed by William H.Canfield in 1859, it is now maintained as a county park and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Prairie plants are nurtured on the mound so as to emphasize its distinctiveness. After a controlled burn of these plants its volunteer caretaker resurveys it according to Canfield's measurements to maintain accuracy with the original. Then it is outlined with a lime line to guide mowing the surrounding park grass. In the mid-twentieth century, a rural road amputated the man's legs and feet below the knees. Now that its historical value is recognized and the mound carefully maintained, the feet and legs have been resurrected by means of white paint on the road and white plastic on the property of the farmer across the road. Photographing the mound involved much preparation before, during and after the burn since very tall ladders supported by people or tied to a tree were needed both as vantage points and giant tripods.

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About my work

Place is a geography of rock, river, field and woods. Place has a history, natural as well as human. Place is a home, be it homestead, henhouse, town, nest, den or cave. Place pushes lifegiving energy through one's own body and soul and renews it. Place enshrines past desires and future hopes for those who dwell there and for this photographer.

My cameras have been focused on southwestern rural Wisconsin and rural Illinois for more than thirty years. At first, my observations included the woods, river and prairies outside my door; then the closing and division of almost 10,000 acres and thousands of structures of the nearby Badger Army Ammunition Plant; even the ravages wrought by highway projects. All of these describe this place.

Still later, 'place' in this same region expanded to include the ongoing encounter of people and nature, both beneficial and conflictual, as seen in my portfolios of controlled prairie burns and sandhill cranes. I saw further into this same spot on the map only to discover places out of time but in mind and space where humans, nature and cultural history intersect.

I look at place: Along the Wisconsin Riverway
Aldo Leopold Legacy Center Exhibit
At displacement: Badger Army Ammunition Plant
At replacement: Prairie Burns and Restorations
At a place outside of time: Rendezvous: Historical Re-enactors of 1760-1840
And that place in mind and time where humans intersect the natural world: Sandhill Cranes
Second Lives