Jesse Burke, the creator of the “Wild and Precious” photography collection, presented his work in the McIninch Art Gallery on Sept. 8 in Robert Frost Hall.
Burke is a part of the Childhood Unplugged program. The main goal behind the program and his artwork is to encourage children to spend more time outside and less time with electronic devices.
In his presentation before the opening, Burke explained that a question he strove to explore was, what is our connection with nature? The importance of nature to him is shown in the name of his daughter and star of this collection: Clover.
From this love of nature, and wanting to share it with his children, the “Wild and Precious” project was born. Throughout the process, Clover’s personality and mind overtook the director’s mindset that Burke had initially set out with.
As time passed and he saw how positively Clover’s individuality affected the pictures, he pushed himself to put aside the director’s hat and be more of a partner in their project.
While they travelled to each location, he continuously took pictures of her sleeping at the beginnings and ends of their days. These sleeping pictures are meant to bring the viewer back from the adventures that happen during the day and lend dreamlike elements to the story of this project.
The published book begins and ends with Clover sleeping, and the explorations are located in-between. It is possible to speculate that what happens during their daily journeys are nothing more than a dream.
In the McIninch Art Gallery, the photos are stunning and draw the eye. They are laid out in a flow, and some of them are set in frames that create a rainbow affect altogether. The whimsy and creativity that were a part of this project are not lost to the viewers.
Burke intends to continue these escapades with his other two daughters, in a new project titled “Wild and Free,” where his love for nature may be passed on again.
For anyone who had been unable to attend the initial opening, the gallery will still be in place through Oct. 30.