|Product Details |
Sierra Club Books
Beyond their esthetic and utilitarian importance, urban trees seem to fill a deeper human need. Perhaps they are reminders of the inexorable cycles of the natural world. Perhaps they serve as eddies and rills of slowness and sureness within the frantic rush of our urban environment.
For more than two decades, photographer David Paul Bayles has been making images of trees in cities and suburbs--places of tension, as he puts it, between "what we build and what we grow." This beautifully designed and produced volume showcases his extraordinary vision of urban trees and their often precarious, sometimes triumphant place in the human landscape.
Initially drawn to his subject by "the balance and harmony and beauty between the manmade structure and the tree," Bayles has also found and photographed plenty of imbalance and human folly along the way. His images are laconic, almost deadpan, yet at the same time infused with irony, humor, and compassion. They avoid the easy trap of politicization, allowing and encouraging each of us to see the relationship between humankind and trees--in all of its complexity--for ourselves.
This much is certain: Those who delve into the pages of this remarkable book will never again look at the trees around them in quite the same way.
From the Inside Flap
"David Bayles's photographs in Urban Forest speak eloquently with a quiet intensity. The book explores the concept that the natural world exists not only in the wilderness, but also in our everyday urban surroundings. These thoughtful photographs cause the viewer to pause and consider the delicate balance between human activity and the natural environment."--John Sexton
"Looking through these photographs provides an intimate experience of beautiful and sensual beings living amongst us who just happen to be trees."--Andy Lipkis, president, TreePeople
"David Bayles's photographs embrace a story that has fascinated Euro-American artists since the beginning of the United States--the transformation of the landscape. With wilderness long since relegated to the gated preserves of National Parks, Bayles reminds us of the continued importance of nature in our twenty-first century, increasingly urbanized lives. With one eye toward the simplicity of linear geometry and the other fascinated by the narrative potential of juxtaposition, Bayles's images compel us to reevaluate the manufactured naturalism of our daily environment."--Glenn Willumson, Director, Graduate Program in Museum Studies, College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
About the Author
David Paul Bayles has photographed the human-tree relationship for more than twenty years. His images have appeared in solo and group exhibitions at galleries and museums throughout the West, and his work is included in numerous public and private collections around the world, including those of the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris; the Helmut Gernsheim Collection in Lugano, Switzerland; and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Bayles' photographs have also been published in such national periodicals as Architectural Record, Architecture, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Metro, and Photographer's Forum. Images from this book were recently featured in the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Bayles makes his home in southern California.