Venessa Monokian
Forest through the trees Pocket forestForest SilhouetteGust
Forest series
I use my work to investigate how photography can alter one’s perception of an environment. My inquiry extends beyond the location where I shoot and involves the final display of the work. How the viewer physically interacts with the work is as much an element of the piece as is the image itself. This experience becomes a partnership between myself, the work, and the person viewing it.

Born and raised in Miami, I became really intimately aware of my natural surroundings. I can spot a gumbo-limbo or an anhinga with out hesitation. But South Florida is a pretty weird place compared to any other natural environment. I had the opportunity to travel on a sponsored residency to Argentina, then to Puerto Rico, and now I am living between Miami and rural South Carolina. I noticed differences and similarities in all these spaces. I felt compelled to document them, but not simply to record their likenesses -- which isn't as honest, nor as fun. My current work is also very personal, because Miami is home to me, the only home I've known. This subtropical place shaped who I am, and on the precipice of big changes in my life, this work also allows me to take my home with me everywhere I go.

This series of work is based on the forest environment. Often we enter into these spaces in order to be alone and to reflect on our lives. My intention with each pieces to work with local images and materials to examine the similarities and differences each location offers.
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