Their Words Echo through My Core was not only inspired by my personal relationship with S’ólh Téméxw but by the groundbreaking research on tree communication conducted by ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her studies of the ‘wood wide web,’ which revolutionized forest ecology, examines the complex and cooperative community of trees (1). This photographic installation celebrates the interconnectedness of a forest, whose underground pathways provide life and support in ways beyond the human imagination.
From a young age I was taught to be respectful of S’ólh Téméxw and to be mindful of the way I treat living beings. This teaching wasn’t something I fully understood until one spring day during a walk, I fell in love with a tree. Sitting on the ground against a cedar tree’s trunk I spent hours in deep thought about life, the choices I’ve made and the kind of person I wanted to be. Listening to the wind rush through the canopy of the forest I found comfort knowing that even with no other person around, I was not alone.
(1). In 1997 Simard discovered Birch and Douglas Fir trees share carbon. Ecologist’s around the world reference Simard’s findings within their research.