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Donavon Smallwood is a photographer and graduate of Hunter College. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at Foam and Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen. His photographs are included in the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Art Museum of West Virginia University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize. Languor, his first monograph, was released by Trespasser in winter 2021.
In what ways does nature inspire or inform your work?
The cultivation of nature has inspired most all of the work that I have done up to this point. I feel that when we work in tandem with nature to create gardens and community we are manifesting divinity.
My favorite quote on the subject is:
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
– William Blake
What does it mean to you to be part of a thriving ecosystem?
Being part of a thriving ecosystem equates to be a seed and a gardener all at once. Working together and individually to develop histories, philosophies, and institutions: mental, spiritual, and physical institutions that can set the tone for growth and art.