2001–2003 · Walden

“If I wanted to see the forest deliberately, here might be a good place to begin.” The words belong to American poet Marie Howe. She is recalling Henry David Thoreau’s famous declaration, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately”; but Howe here refers not only to Walden Pond, the site of Thoreau’s experiment in simple living, but to the photographs of Thaddeus Holownia.

In 2001, Holownia received the support of the Fulbright Foundation to embark on a photographic exploration of Walden Pond and its surrounds. He visited the area in all seasons over the course of two years — a deliberate echo of Thoreau’s time spent there.

Holownia was attracted to the quiet and eclectic character of hardwoods and softwoods in a forest which is a silent partner to the busy and often hectic landscape of the pond proper. Making many walks through the woods, Holownia discovered trees that were both naturally and unnaturally individual. Both individually and collectively, Holownia’s 24 Tree Studies for Henry David Thoreau make an intimate portrait of the forest surrounding Walden Pond.