Geologies: Beavertail; 2018-2019

Rocks. Seemingly mundane, unimportant, unseen. We walk across the earth without ever looking down at the bedrock which separates us from the molten core of the earth. We don’t think about how important these structures are to the formation of the landscape, but when we look upon geologic formations, we are looking back through time. Structures which have been growing and colliding and eroding and melting and cementing, over and over, throughout millions of years. Geology is a vessel through which we can touch history. In this ongoing project, I have been building up a collection of photographic evidence, recording the shapes, textures, and colors of the rocks and minerals I have encountered.
This set of images were taken on the coast of the southern tip of Conanicut Island in Rhode Island. Beavertail State Park offers a dramatic geologic array of rugged cliffs and boulders sculpted by wind and water. Made up of green and black phyllite with quartz, chlorite, feldspar, and muscovite running through it, soft, easily eroded schists and conglomerates, and basaltic dikes, this location immediately drew me in. As I climbed over the boulders and across the exposed bedrock at low tide, I was amazed and in awe of the uniqueness of this place. I returned several times to document what I saw. Every time I discovered something new. This landscape, which undergoes constant transformation, leads me to wonder about what it used to look liked a thousand years ago, and what it will look like in another thousand. There is fragility here, despite how impenetrable it appears. Even these solid structures are not immune to change. Scars in their skin, fractures along their spine. These rocks are bodies with stories to tell. In their abstraction and subtlety, I found poetry.I thought about how long of a process it is to become, the endless cycle of it all. There is a metamorphosis happening, always, slowly, but no less significantly. Who's to say why I’ve become immersed by these rocks, but perhaps our obsessions come to us when we need them most. Perhaps I was looking for something solid to ground me to this earth. My question was, ‘How can we endure? How can we learn to stand strong and resilient like mountains?’. In the midst of chaos, are we capable of adapting for survival? And if we are not, then will it only be the mountains and valleys which remain?