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Work by Colleen Plumb

From the series Animals are Outside Today

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I began this project looking at fake nature, wondering what substitutions for nature can satisfy in people. Looking deeper I began photographing real animals and how they can be a link to a world far from the reality and pace of contemporary life, as well as provide an intangible link to a deeper world of instinct and rawness. Growing up in Chicago gave me an urban childhood: running through gangways and exploring alleys with my friends. It was also mixed with many outdoor experiences such as vacations spent camping across the country and canoe trips through the Chicago Forest Preserve.

I am sure the contrasts in these beginnings influence and inspire my work, paired with my continued experience of living in the city but always craving a closeness with nature. This series of photographs examines the essence of our connection, as well as our fragmentation from the natural. I am interested in the increasing disconnection that exists between humans and the natural world. The work explores simulation, consumption, destruction, and reconstruction as well as notions of endurance and the reality of loss.