Beth Moons fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization. All, however, share a mysterious beauty perfected by age and the power to connect us to a sense of time and nature much greater than ourselves. It is this beauty, and this power, that Moon captures in her remarkable photographs.
This handsome volume presents sixty of Moons finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yewssome more than a thousand years oldthat grow in Englishchurchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called upside-down trees because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragons-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that growonly on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.
Moons narrative captions describe the natural and cultural history of each individual tree, while Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden, provides a concise introduction to the biology and preservation of ancient trees. An essay by the critic Steven Brown defines Moons unique place in a tradition of tree photography extending from William Henry Fox Talbot to Sally Mann, and explores the challenges and potential of the tree as a subject for art.
Beth Moon, a photographer based in San Francisco, makes her exhibition prints exclusively with the platinum/palladium process, which allows for the greatest possible permanence and tonal range. Moons work has been published widely in magazines, and she is represented by galleries in the United States, Italy, Israel, Brazil, and Dubai.