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About the Author
Virginia Beahan teaches at Bard College. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband. They have one daughter. Laura McPhee teaches at the Massachusetts College of Art. She and her husband and daughter live in Boston.
With an Introduction by Rebecca Solnit and an Afterword by John McPhee
A stunning exploration of the ways human behavior shapes--and is reshaped by--the natural world.
Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee explore the ways people interact with the landscapes in which they live. For over ten years they have traveled the world--from Iceland to Costa Rica, Sri Lanka to New York--uncovering in their photographs a complex weave of human attitudes, both humble and arrogant, in the face of natural elements.
In Costa Rica, healing waters are enshrined in frescoed concrete; in a Hawaiian garden, mangoes and oranges are carefully protected against the winter cold in brown-paper-bag jackets; in Iceland, children play in hot springs created by the runoff of a power plant; in Las Vegas, an artificial volcano erupts on cue. Each of Beahan and McPhee's extraordinary images captures a point of intersection where natural and constructed worlds collide. Their work creates a powerful visual map of a uniquely human struggle-the effort, repeated in almost every community, to bend nature to suit our own desires.
Laura McPhee and Virginia Beahan began their photographic work together in 1987. Through the use of an 8 x 10 camera they are able to participate jointly in this unique collaboration. They have received support for their photography from numerous sources, including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Polaroid Corporation, and the Turner Foundation.