Devonian Shards

What first interested me in the local fossils (here in the Catskill area) were their sculptural beauty. Learning that they were remnants of 380 million year old life made them infinitely more interesting. The graceful organic shapes are a joy to explore photographically. Often, as light passes across them, their visual “character” shows wonderful  variation and complexity. So I began photographing them as I found them, struggling to break free from their rock matrix.

Along the way I discovered that some of the rocks themselves could possess similar sculptural attributes. I began a variation on the original project –  one of many side trips to explore. The above image and those below are what I am calling my “Devonian Shards.”  Often they are pieces broken off from larger stones, sometimes they are loose rocks found in piles of rubble. Since my purposes are based on aesthetic considerations and not science I’m not concerned that my subjects may seem commonplace. Sure I would like to find the perfect fossil but that’s not likely. Nor is it even necessary for me. A geologist friend, Robert Titus, once remarked about my work “You do a great job of making average fossils look very good.” I’m pretty happy with that.

The four images below will be part of an upcoming exhibition of my work at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, N.Y. The opening is set for September 23. I’ll have more information on that show in upcoming posts.

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