Branching Out by Michelle Bates

Issue 26

I have always had an interest in transformation, and finding the beauty in it. Fall is my favorite time of year, when trees become bare and their skeletal forms emerge from bushy crowns to reveal stunning silhouettes. In addition to the natural turning of the seasons, other elements come into play to alter the lives and forms of trees: fire, humans uprooting orchards, generations of feet trampling roots.

Some trees pictured here live in the center of cities; others are protected within national parks and frequently viewed and photographed; or they grow anonymously in isolated rural areas; or have reached the end of their lives through natural or unnatural causes. I find inspiration in these figures, and have an appreciation of their presence both in the country and in the city, where they transform concrete spaces into living environments. Here they are further altered by the abstraction of photographing in black and white, the view of a plastic-lensed Holga camera, and my own organic frame.

Michelle Bates is a Seattle, Washington based artist.
To view more of Michelle's work, please visit her website

  Tree, Kathmandu 

Tree, Kathmandu 

  Yosemite 

Yosemite 

  Snag 

Snag 

  Tree, Oregon 

Tree, Oregon 

  Knobby Tree, San Francisco 

Knobby Tree, San Francisco 

  Tree Silhouette 

Tree Silhouette 

  Boston Branches 

Boston Branches 

  Raritan Canal 

Raritan Canal 

  Twisted Tree, Los Angeles 

Twisted Tree, Los Angeles 

  Wax Orchards

Wax Orchards

  Tree shadows 

Tree shadows 

  Hoh in Snow 

Hoh in Snow 

  Fallen Redwoods 

Fallen Redwoods 

  Roots, Boston 

Roots, Boston