The Shock of the View

Sometimes the view chooses you.

Having witnessed first hand what nature hath wrought, I share my post-hurricane disaster work as in Get a load of this!

It’s taken years for me to compile these photos and transfer prints illustrating how what’s brutal and beautiful co-exist to tell a story of recovery in the landscape (in these climate-worry times).

This series started with a trip to the Everglades in July of 2005, when a squawking crow seemed to be warning of impending doom. Hurricane Katrina came the next month. After the devastation, (we lost our home), I photographed the trees and scenery around my new home we moved into months later on the same street in Slidell, Louisiana and on trips to Florida. I was surprised to see that birds made a nest of a man’s shirt, while fishing nets dangled like a draped design from a tree next to Lake Pontchartrain. The way nature appropriates found me gradually making peace with the idea of wherever you go there you are.

Originally entitled Oh, You Beautiful Disaster, as a tongue-in-cheek response to losing my boat house studio and home in the hurricane aftermath, the ruined views felt like fate stepping in guiding me to stay and create art in Louisiana and Florida, my back and forth places.

-Jan Arrigo