top of page

Destructive Beauty

The Harvesting of an Urban Forest

"In June of 2011, I awoke to the sound of men, machines and crashing trees, realizing the forest behind my home was being harvested.  From July 3rd to July 16th, I took 1,500 photographs. This was the beginning of what would become The Forest Project."


What the Forest Gave Me

Patterns from Nature

"The patterns in this book were designed directly from photographs taken on 60- acres of urban forest, as it was scheduled to be clear-cut for development. Photographs of trees, plants, flowers, seeds, snow, earth, birds, turtles and snakes were taken and then processed multiple times in IPhoto, Pages and Lightbox, before being spliced together to create patterns. Over 1,000 designs were created during the Winter and Spring of 2015. This book contains 75 of the most interesting combinations." 

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 9.07.02 AM.jpg


From The Forest Project

"In May of 2015, I stumbled upon Richmond Woodturners yearly competition. Seeing the marvelous possibilities for what can be made from wood, I was inspired to include woodturning in The Forest Project. Before the land was cleared, 15 members of Richmond Woodturners cut, sealed and distributed 16 trees to 50 members of the group. Over the next year, members of various ages and expertise turned wood from the forest into beautiful works of art."

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 9.07.26 AM.jpg

Seasons in the Bone

a year in the life of an urban forest

"The property, known as the Bliley Farm, had been in the Bliley family for 150 years. These photographs capture the incredible diversity of an ecosystem that was mostly native, partly planted, and largely left to grow wild. Three months after this photo essay was completed, the forest was razed to make way for a residential development.  This book is a record of what was lost. A testament for future city planners to consider when deciding the fate of urban forests."

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 9.08.05 AM.jpg

Common Treasure

A Photographic Inventory of the Woods

"This book is an inventory of the Bliley family woods—an urban property that was mostly native, partly planted and largely left to grow wild. These pictures were taken over the course of three years, before and during, the clear-cutting of this forest. Common names, taught to me by my neighbors and friends, are used to identify the plants on these pages."

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 7.29.11 PM.jpg

Bare Earth

Underneath the Forest

"It is a marvelous thing to study an entire forest. Witnessing its dissection uncovers another layer of the interdependency at work in an ecosystem. To stand in a vast open space where once there was a forest is heartbreaking; and at the same time awe-inspiring. To visually see what supported abundant life and to become aware of the the unseen—the intelligence it contains to start again—is to understand the wisdom of the earth and to feel the soil waiting for seed."

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 1.34.50 PM.jpg

Final Cut

Installations from The Forest Project

"Photographs taken in the woods before it was cut, were made into fabric patterns, printed and sewn into quilts. Trees cut from the forest were turned into bowls, hollow forms and other art objects. All these things were made, then laid on the clear-cut earth and photographed. Each piece was offered as a thank you to the earth, acknowledging what was passing and giving thanks for what will live on."

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 7.20.15 PM.jpg

The Forest Project Chronicle

An Overview in Words & Pictures

"A compilation of the first seven Forest Project books, this book contains essays by Jack Johnson and Katherine Benner, along with the introduction and a selection of photos from each book.  This publication is the result of hundreds of artists working together for the common goal of commemorating an urban forest lost to develop-ment."

bottom of page