Trees and Concrete is an ongoing body of work that reveals the unexpected landscape of New York City, currently focusing on the borough of Brooklyn. Ambiguous and interchangeable, these spaces came to my consciousness only through the process of leaving, traveling and intermittently returning to my place of birth. My time away revealed a new perspective of what can define the landscape of a place. Every homecoming became informed by my journeys on the road. Walking the streets of Brooklyn is no longer shaped solely by my childhood memories of this urban space. Instead, it continues to blend with visual impressions of the diverse scenery I experienced across the United States.
This work begins to break the preconceptions of what defines an urban landscape by exploring the boroughs of New York City. As a Brooklyn native, I previously associated urban spaces with densely populated areas and looming buildings that reverberated the symphonic noise of the lively streets. Most city natives or even outsiders, rarely envision an open or green landscape when imagining a city. If a green-space does come to mind, it is often the locations maintained by the Department of Parks and Recreation; even though historically, a thick and forested rural landscape, with areas of marshland, corn and tobacco fields existed prior to the cities urban development that we know today. Allusions to that era still exist among the concealed solitary areas, be it the remnants of the past or results of man-made landscape emerging through the city's complexity.
Trees and Concrete explores the areas tucked between alleyways and buildings, along the cross-streets and even the borough's outskirts, to challenge expectations of how one might imagine a metropolitan area. This exploratory process continues to bring me back to the urban environment of my childhood, while redefining the distinct landscape of my former home. With a natural landscape in mind, I uncover these quiet hidden spaces that for many continue to be an unnoticed part of New York City.
Untitled 1, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 2, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 3, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 4, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 5, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 6, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 7, Brooklyn, NY
Untitled 8, Brooklyn, NY
Nominate Your Role Models and Mentors!
Submit a nomination for 2019 Insight Award and Honored Educator. All nominations due July 1st. Visit the call for entry page of our website for more information.
2019 Annual Conference Call for Proposals
Deadline to Submit is June 1, 2018!
SPEakOp (SPE Opinion) is a series of think-pieces.