Posted May 8, 2017 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Culture

Tari Gunstone

Cover Artist Statement

Tari Gunstone works professionally as a portrait and event photographer while studying Environmental Photojournalism and Botany at Evergreen. She also writes and photographs for the Cooper Point Journal. You can find her work at

The poet Mary Oliver wrote that, “to pay attention is our endless work.” That has become my personal mantra for both my photography work and my general lifestyle. This collection of photographs, Field Guide, reflects my interest in applying that observation to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. In 2014, I had the opportunity to spend a year living on a Monastic farm in the San Juan Islands. In between farm duties, I explored the vast landscape of wilderness that the remote seven-mile long island I was on offered. With the help of the quaint, volunteer-run library, I equipped myself with enough books to become a fledgling naturalist. I photographed and wrote of my observations of the natural world extensively, weaving in poetry and self-reflection, as I was learning just as much about myself in this wild yet quiet space as I was about its flora and fauna.

I’ve carried this practice with me since then, paying homage to the many field guides that have helped me more intimately understand the non-human characters of my native geography by photographing with a scientific eye. This has led me to my current studies at Evergreen where I’m focusing on Environmental Photojournalism and Botany. Science explains the earth in terms of matter while art voices the human connection to earth in terms of emotion or spirit. I believe a combination of both these disciplines is needed to help society deeply engage in perspectives and lifestyle changes that are redemptive to our planet. My intent for my photographs is that they build awareness and advocacy for their subject matter and can hopefully inspire thoughtful self-reflection for the viewer.