Finally Seeing the Seasons: Artist Statement
Talia Zitner

I live in a city without seasons. Years seem to go by in a blur of rising and falling temperatures rather than changing colors and clear transitions. Since moving to Wisconsin, I have begun to understand how the land goes through seasonal changes, mosquitos in the summer, blazing trees in the fall, frozen lakes in the winter. I have been inspired by these definitive moments of change. While I've immersed myself in the environment here, the moments I have come to value most are those where I have learned about the ways the earth prepares itself for transformation. I've mourned the loss of the wildflowers in the garden after the first frost. I've loved watching squirrels scurry across the paths, nuts in hand. I've tested my reflexes by gingerly stepping on ice creeping along the edges of the lake. My semester here has spoiled the "seasons" for me, clearly laying out the incredible beauty of the metamorphosis of nature.

The photos that I have chosen to display today are my interpretation of fleeting seasonal changes. I aimed to portray each season that I have experienced while at Conserve School; summer, fall, and winter. I wanted these photos to focus on one single subject, rather than looking at the bigger picture. Conserve School has taught me to examine the details, single cogs in a much larger machine.

The camera does not see as the eye does. When making these photographs, I wanted my camera to be used as a tool to enhance the smaller details of these subjects, such as a single flower, leaf, or one section of the woods. My camera gave me the ability to portray the seasons as an intimate and singular shift, much like the changes within a person as they grow and develop. I have spent time cultivating my relationship with very individualized parts of the natural world during my time here, and want to use my photographs to inspire the same type of link within others.

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