“Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight…"

Forest Primeval is a series of narrative images that were shot in the swamps of southern Louisiana in September, 2020. Each photograph contains the same visual DNA: a clear panel of plexiglass, adorned with pink painted shapes, and a triangular cut-out.

The painting of the plexiglass was Act 1 of this performance, which retells my upbringing as a queer individual in the south, and the myriad of anxieties that were present throughout that time. These anxieties are visualized as these shapes, which block and obscure the view through the plexi. Act 2 is what this series of images materialized into: a narrative mythology of self and surroundings. The plexi is utilized as both prop and conflict. The focus shifts constantly to show the figures and their environments, all through a pink blurry lens, imbuing a sense of drunkenness as they set out to grasp hold of what once blurred their vision.

The medium of photography is naturally performative, and by leaning into it I find a deeper authenticity. This correlates directly with my experience as a non binary person, and the ways in which I am expected to perform to portray, instead of performing to free myself.

The title of this series is taken from the opening of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, which describes the land of Nova Scotia, and the plight of the French Canadian diaspora that were deported to Louisiana in the 1750s.