Arabia Mountain sits twenty miles away from downtown Atlanta, Georgia. It is a very old mountain, more than 475 million years in the making, older than the Alps of my native country.
This place has experienced the settlement of Native Americans, African Americans and Europeans, and has been occupied for at least 6,000 to 8,000 years. Not surprisingly, it is the last industrial period that has left its deepest and darkest marks, when the quarry industry took over this ecological wonder in the 1890s. The adjacent town of Lithonia – from the Greek etymology “place of rock” – was at one time the largest producer of diversified stone products in the United States, making everything from curb stones at the heyday of automobiles to soil conditioning products and even poultry grit.
Walls of granite still stand within the boundaries of Arabia Mountain, and with their sharp edges and open wounds created by dynamite bars and metal spikes, they testify to a time when granite was in high demand. With time, nature has reclaimed its rights and the mountain has become protected as a National Heritage Area.
This series reflects on the idea that the landscape is a palimpsest, where the camera acts as an archeological tool, sifting through the layers of history that remain visible. Ultimately it is motivated by the desire to question our land use - and misuse - and to reignite a sense of wonder in light of our frail relationship with the environment.