Savannah, GA-based photographer Marc Newton is photographing mannequins in natural landscapes for his MFA thesis.
Wild nature is conducive to human interaction: exploring, challenging one’s self, and breaching the gap between modern civilization and primitive urges. Human beings’ place in the natural world has evolved through many millenniums. From our prehistoric hunter and gatherer ancestors to the modern founders of the Sierra Club, our understanding of the natural world has changed as well as the way we view its importance. What we see in the natural world is nothing more than a reflection of ourselves and our society. Our “Wilderness” is a fabricated subjective story, written by our yearning and our cultures. William Cronon stated “We turn them (natural icons) into human symbols, using them as repositories for values and meanings which can range from the savage to the sacred. What we find in these places cannot help being profoundly influenced by the ideas we bring to them”. The more we think of the wilderness as a distant world, an entity we have no influence on, the more we are conducive to destructive interaction.
For my MFA thesis, at Savannah College of Art and Design, I am photographing mannequins in natural landscapes. These figures stand for the human aesthetic and culture that is projected onto the nonhuman world. With these selected images I hope to promote this idea, to be more conscious of how we utilize natural resources, and to minimize the gap between the nonhuman world and ourselves. The struggle to understand how we as humans are compelled to support and coexist with nature today holds subjective but urgent recognition.
See more photos on Marc’s website.