LensWork Publication Skills Grant
Jungle Vignettes: The Illustrative Amazon Rainforest
Jessica Suarez - GA, USA
Jungle Vignettes: The Illustrative Amazon Rainforest is a testimony to the splendid and endangered expanse of wilderness.
When I first arrived to the Amazon, I had trouble sleeping at night because of the wave of unrecognizable animal sounds that would rise out of the amplifying humidity and darkness. I would dream of venomous and man-eating snakes. The first few times I walked the trails around the research station where I lived, I was convinced that every crash in the forest was some hungry and angry creature.
Loud noises still flush my body with adrenaline and cortisol, but Iíve also come to value the sensation of feeling so alert, more aware than ever before. These images are an effort to make sense of this terrifying and magical place and all the feelings that have surfaced for me while exploring it. Every hike in the Amazon is different from the last, even if the same ground was covered only a few hours before. The jungle is in a constant flux of creating, destroying, decomposing and regenerating. It is impossible to not contemplate death, the fragility of life and what the continued destruction of the Amazon will mean to all of us while experiencing this place. These visual moments are a record of the raw, primal emotions that are evoked from this splendid and endangered expanse of wilderness.
Almost immediately upon leaving graduate school, I made my way to the Peruvian Amazon, which has been my home the last two and a half years. While I find endless subject matter and opportunities of exploration to inspire my work in the rainforest, the remote located has not provided the support and instruction of the photographic community that can be so crucial when creating.
My intention of this project is to communicate the wildness, preciousness and sacredness of the Amazon rainforest to individuals who may never experience it in person. At this moment I find myself searching for my voice in my photography and feel compelled to share this work, and learn how to talk about it and the Amazon rainforest.
I recognize that LensWork Publication Skills Grant from the The Luminous Endowment could provide a monumental opportunity at this early stage in my career as I continue to make photographs. If awarded, the generous funds would be put towards the creation of an exhibition and small exhibition publication. Besides covering the cost and learning process of printing and framing the images, it would cover the fees to hire an editor to curate the work and help me realize my strongest images, as well as online classes to learn how to tone and prepare the images for exhibition printing. Beyond the act of creating work, it is important to share it and communicate it.
I find myself in a pivotal moment in my career, and LensWork Publication Skills Grant could be paramount in helping me realizing the full potential of this photographic effort.
Thank you for your time and consideration.