From scientific to symbolic, images of nature have played an integral role in the history of photography. As the impulse to make images of flowers and trees runs deep through the photographic tradition, this exhibition offers diverse perspectives, ranging from sincere attempts to convey the beauty and wonder of the natural world to critical commentaries on the tension between humankind and nature.
Whether reverent or cynical, however, none of the works on view offers sweeping vistas. Instead these photographs present intimate studies, sometimes focusing only on an individual plant, making them more akin to portraits than to landscapes. Nearly a third of the photographers whose works are included here have roots in Virginia, bringing their subjects even closer to home.