Opening Reception, December 1, 5-7pm
The balance of nature has been disturbed.
In Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, snow supports ecosystems, and at the core of it, life. The region doesn’t get much precipitation in the summer, so it highly depends on the snowmelt to feed the rivers, keep soils moist, and protect against wildfires. Colorado’s snowpack has declined in recent decades due to climate change, and with less snow to act as a frozen reservoir throughout the year, fighting the forest ﬁres will be more difficult. The three largest wildfires in the state’s history burned in 2020, setting aflame nearly 700,000 acres. In the summer of 2021, the American West was considered to be experiencing the worst drought in modern history.
This project raises questions about the future of snow and its impact on drought and wildfires. By dividing it in three sections - Biophilia, Disturbance, and Water In The West - I explore human innate connection to the environment, and merge scenes of beauty and destruction as if they were part of one continuous landscape, showing how everything in nature is connected. The triptychs depict imaginary landscapes created by our unsustainable relationship with the natural world. Additionally, I capture abstract photographs of familiar landscapes that are vulnerable to environmental changes. My goal is bring the issues closer to the viewer by creating a relationship between the concepts of weather and climate, while shooting exposures ranging from 8000th of a second to minutes at a time. A frozen moment of weather; a movement of climate. By exploring all phases that water goes through, I tell the story of the most basic element which is of critical importance to life. Because in the West, snow is water.
Tamara Susa is a documentary photographer that focuses on environmental issues and the impacts human choices have on the natural world. She grew up in former Yugoslavia in between wars, and the scars left on the land from those wars are still felt today. Now based in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, she’s bearing witness to a different kind of destruction that is at the center of the work she creates. Through her photography, she invites the viewer to engage with questions about the future of the environment, learn how to better interact with the landscape, and live within the limits of nature.