Temporal Nature

“Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind, and that state of the mind can only be described by presenting that natural appearance as its picture.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Temporal Nature is an ongoing series of black and white photographs emphasizing an importance for greater consideration of the natural world in the 21st century. Devoid of any direct evidence of man, the images point towards our inseparable relationship to nature through poetic uses of visual language. They are meant to function as archetypal manifestations of what will be lost as a result of environmental threats, and the evolving recognition of our place within the Anthropocene.

These photographs visualize my hope that not all is yet lost, while acknowledging the dire predictions for the future of our planet. In light of these predictions I feel driven to share through my intuitive practice a depiction of these seldom-visited, wild places that accentuates photography’s abilities to both trace and transform. Ultimately, alluding through metaphor towards what purely scientific data can’t ­­− the sublimity of nature.

Since the summer of 2018, this work has led me to explore what still remains of seemingly untouched wilderness in the southwestern deserts and southeastern forests of the United States. Traversing in solitude into remote landscapes, often for miles, I search for ways to create visual interpretations of my experiences in the land, engaging with the non-human world in ways that bridge a perceived lack of connection between man and nature.



Matthew Jessie

About Matthew Jessie

Matthew Jessie (b.1987) is a photographic artist and educator based in Tempe, Arizona. He received an MFA in studio art from Arizona State University in 2020. Originally from the small Appalachian town of Rogersville, Tennessee, Matthew developed a particularly close relationship to the natural world and to the culture and landscape of the Great Smoky Mountains at an early age. He received a BFA in Studio Art from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee in 2015. Matthew's work has been featured by publications including Oxford American's: Eyes On The South, Ain't-Bad Magazine, The Heavy Collective, Palm* Studios, and others.

Website: http://www.matthewjessie.photography