I am a Canadian photographer, writer and farmer who has concentrated on climate change since 2005. Formerly trained in international public health, I became a photographer in my 50s, focusing initially on the energy transition.
But in 2020, my photographic gaze shifted radically from documentary to abstraction following Australia’s catastrophic ‘Black Summer’ bushfires. Since then, I have adopted a phenomenological approach to photography to develop a more fluid, non-narrative language to express my ecoanxiety.
My recent work explores embodiment as a way to give voice to the nonhuman. In the liminal space between despair and hope, between chaos and the sublime, I have discovered an ephemeral beauty of our nonhuman relatives undergoing profound change in the Anthropocene. This beauty confuses me; I was expecting chaos to be dark and ominous.
Through my ongoing series of abstract photographs of rivers and trees, I have learned that I am not separate from climate change; I am part of it. That I am not separate from the river or the trees – I am river; I am tree.
Joan’s ClimateCultures posts
Website Joan Sullivan Photography