Lost Ground > Images

Alexis Culver
Lost Ground

I have visited the same 200 acres of woods outside of Bloomington, Indiana throughout the seasons. After seven years away from the Midwest I returned to southern Indiana, specifically this land, because of my familiarity with it, and because it has everything I need to make these photographs: a pond, streams, fields, forest, hills, and life.

This project started with a vague idea of light and it’s place in the forest. I chose a patch of woods and started photographing the way sunlight filtered through the canopy and illuminated little sections of the forest floor. And then I added people to the frame, hiding them in the background, showing only their reflections, cutting out their heads, denying their identity, so they could be anyone, or anything, to the viewer.

The forest is a dark space, someplace where anything can happen. I never know what I will come across—bones, paper, fabric, dead animals, feathers, arrowheads, broken glass, barbed wire. I look for these unexpected objects when I’m photographing. I also explore the everyday changes that occur, going unnoticed to probably anyone except me—flooding water, draught, fallen leaves, skinny trees, changes in the light, the sky, animal tracks, and ice formations. These unpredictable findings and experiences have inspired the work to evolve over the last two years.

I hope viewers pause to spend time with the photographs, hold them, study them, really engage with them. And I hope they leave the work with their own interpretation of what happens in these woods. Lost Ground will only come full circle with viewership. I am not interested in having the final word on this series, but rather to open up a space to challenge the viewer to draw conclusions and provoke thoughts on their own experiences in the woods.