Photo Exhibit at Coe Visitor Center Features work of Jeff Ripple
Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
The photography of Jeff Ripple is now on display at the at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center Gallery in Everglades National Park. The exhibit will continue through February 28, 2010.
Jeff Ripple's primary cameras, a 4x5 and 8x10 field cameras, allowed him to capture the subtleties of the natural landscape of this diverse ecosystem with amazing clarity. Ripple works in both color and black & white and is completely self-trained in photography and photographic printmaking. His photographic images reflect his devotion to protecting the natural environment, a fascination with the ephemeral play of light on textures and forms in the landscape, and a reverence for wild places. Ripple hopes that through his work people will develop a new appreciation for their natural heritage. His work is widely collected and he has been exhibited in more than a dozen solo and group museum exhibits. Ripple is also a painter, a nature recordist, and is author of nine books of natural history, primarily about Florida. He currently works from studios near Big Cypress National Preserve in southwest Florida and in the tiny village of Empire at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the northwestern lower peninsula of Michigan.
"There are no other Everglades in the world." So begins Marjorie Stoneman Douglas in her classic The Everglades: River of Grass, and this has been a guiding philosophy for Ripple as he photographed the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp over a period of more than 20 years. The Everglades are subtle but multifaceted: everyone knows the vast sawgrass marshes, but the Everglades system in its broadest sense also holds wide cypress prairies, meandering rivers, brooding mangrove swamps, emerald islands, shallow lakes, estuarine richness of Florida Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands, and even a portion of the Florida Keys. It is a landscape borne of and nourished by fire and water, drought and flood. "I have approached this exhibit not as a scientist but as an artist, following the water of the Everglades wherever it most enchanted me," said Ripple.
That journey has taken Ripple from the Chain of Lakes just below Orlando west almost to Naples and as far south as the Keys. Ripple uses wooden view cameras, instruments that require him to visualize a scene as art before setting up the camera to begin work. Texture, form, light, shadow—a pervading mood. There will never be another Everglades. The urgency of his work of the moment is reflected in the artists approach to this exhibit as a whole. The artist presents his vision of the Everglades as an invitation to bring this landscape into the viewers heart, to help ensure its survival. Please enjoy this wonderful collection at the Coe Visitor Center.
Directions: Visitors coming from the Miami area and points north should take the Florida Turnpike (Route 821) south until it ends merging with U.S. 1 at Florida City. Turn right at the first traffic light onto Palm Drive (State Road 9336/SW 344th St.) and follow the signs to the park. Visitors driving north from the Florida Keys should turn left on Palm Drive in Florida City and follow the signs to the park.
Did You Know?
The Everglades used to span from Lake Okeechobee in central Florida all the way down to Florida Bay. Now only 25% of the historic Everglades remains, which is being protected by the National Park.