LAKEHEAD is a narrative landscape project that explores the source of the Great Lakes in Northeastern Minnesota, and follows the 179 mile path of the St. Louis River from its origins on the Mesabi iron mining district to its terminus in the St. Louis River Estuary in Duluth. This harbor marks the headwaters of the Great Lakes, and connects the center of North America with the rest of the planet.
I grew up hearing stories about Northern winters from my parents, who lived on the North Shore of Lake Superior when they first got married. My mom was a nurse in Hibbing, Minnesota and my father worked in an open-pit iron mine nearby. The miners had to work outside every day, year round, unless it was colder than 20 below zero (in which case they could stay home).
My father was obsessed with mines, and kept a rock collection in the best room of our house; bits of rock that he’d picked up on the job in mines across the country, polished and painstakingly labeled. Every night at dinner he showed us his scars, and talked about his work — the slow descent of the elevator, lunchtime in the wet dark, and terrible accidents of exploding earth.
As a photographer, I work outside year round too. And I’m a bit obsessed with the landscape and geology. But instead of digging with tools like my dad, I make photographs.
Project images are captured on black and white film with an 8x10 view camera, processed in the traditional darkroom by hand in Pyro developer, and scanned to create large-scale photographic prints for the gallery wall.
Please visit the link below to see the entire collection on my website.