What's Up UA? - UA Professor to Photograph World's Last Wild Apple Forests - The Explorer: University Of Arizona

What's Up UA? - UA Professor to Photograph World's Last Wild Apple Forests

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 1:33 pm

Renowned landscape photographer and University of Arizona professor Frank Gohlke will photograph the world's last wild apple forests in Kazakhstan, a once-in-a-lifetime project made possible by a Fulbright Scholar grant.

Gohlke, the recipient of two Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, will add images from his exploration of the wild apple forests around the city of Almaty to an acclaimed and widely exhibited body of work that includes projects photographing grain elevators in the American heartland, the aftermath of the Mount St. Helens eruption and post-tornado landscapes.

"While the environmental politics of the project are important to me, I'm most interested in making beautiful pictures of these trees, both individually and in their masses," says Gohlke, a professor in the UASchool of Art who will use his sabbatical time for the project, leaving in September to stay for about nine months.

"The idea of seeing a whole forest of wild apple trees was irresistible. It's been on my mind for a very long time," he says. "I need to be there for the fall for the apples and the spring if I'm going to see the forests blooming, which will be a pretty spectacular sight."

Gohlke traces his fascination with apples and Almaty in particular back more than 25 years, to one of his photography mentors who was an apple enthusiast, trying to graft different species together on his land in upstate New York. After that, he began reading about apples and learned of the Kazakhstan forests, but didn't expect to ever be able to visit.

"I thought, my goodness, whole forests of apple trees and each one is different from the next. It just sounded like the Garden of Eden in a way. Kazakhstan at the time was still part of the Soviet Union," he says. "When Kazakhstan became independent, I got even more determined to see it for myself: so when I got a sabbatical and had the opportunity to apply for the Fulbright, that grant was tailor made for what I wanted to do."

The apple forests are stressed and facing a number of potential threats, from development to climate change, and while part of Gohlke's project is intended to document the condition of the forests, it's not a news-oriented project.

"Just the notion of being in a place that is the origin of something very familiar and ubiquitous in the world now is pretty exciting," he says. "The area of forest is vastly reduced and I do feel there's an urgency about making these photographs. As far as I know, nobody has ever looked at the forests from inside and outside in a really sustained way. There's a documentary impulse at work, but I don't really consider my work to be documentary in the strict sense."

Gohlke has plans to create an exhibition and book of his apple forest photographs, but is also interested in a multidisciplinary presentation, perhaps a joint lecture with Irina Panyushkina, a scientist in the UA's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research who studies the trees from a scientific standpoint.

The apple forest photographs are similar to Gohlke's previous work portraying landscapes that contain both order and chaos.

"I am interested in the way in which order and chaos intersect, which is where we live. Mount St. Helens was like that. Within its chaotic details, the overall pattern was very orderly. I was excited about being able to see that order laid out on such a vast scale," he says.

"That's not going to be as big a factor in this project, but the sense in which I'm really trying to grasp a large sweep of territory and somehow suggest the experience of being there, that's something that's been pretty consistent in my work. I really love trees and the fact that they're apple trees is just gravy – or pie."

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

Welcome to the discussion.

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

Wednesday 10/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Close Encounter 'One in a Million'

Monday 10/13/2014

What's Up UA? - Austin Hill: The Comeback Kid

Monday 10/06/2014

What's Up UA? - Health, Wellness Practices Highlighted by Chinese Culture Festival

Thursday 10/02/2014

What's Up UA? - Ready for a Super-Fast Internet? UA Scientists Are Fast at Work on It

Tuesday 09/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Using the Force: UA Police Officer Completes NASA Project

Monday 09/29/2014

What's Up UA? - How New Social Movements Take Root

Friday 09/26/2014

What's Up UA? - PBS 'NewsHour' to Feature Inspirational UA Student

Wednesday 09/24/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Paves Way to Redefine STEM Education

Monday 09/22/2014

What's Up UA? - Wildcats Rally, Hail Mary TD Defeats Cal, 49-45

Thursday 09/18/2014

What's Up UA? - When Job Loss Equals Weight Gain

Monday 09/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Don’t Underestimate Your Mind’s Eye

Thursday 09/11/2014

What's Up UA? - 'What I Wish I Had Known as a Freshman'

Tuesday 09/09/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Undergraduate Researchers Take to the Radio

Thursday 09/04/2014

What's Up UA? - Send Your Tweet – and Your Name – to an Asteroid

Tuesday 09/02/2014

What's Up UA? - Brown Foundations' $2.5 Million Kicks Off Catapult Corp

Thursday 08/28/2014

What's Up UA? - New Veterinary Degree Program Made Possible by $9M Gift is Critical for State

Monday 08/25/2014

What's Up UA? - Laser 'Lightning Rods' Channel Electricity Through Thin Air

Thursday 08/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Fall Enrollment Sets Record for Diversity, Number of Freshmen

Tuesday 08/19/2014

What's Up UA? - Remarkable Résumé: UA Student Journalist's Career Includes CNN, NYT Phoenix

Friday 08/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Through Innovative Partnership, 'Hot Shot' Team Tackles Yuma Produce Perils

Wednesday 08/13/2014

What's Up UA? - The UA Named a Top College by The Princeton Review

Monday 08/11/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Researchers Study Increasing Lifespan and Immune Function What's Up UA? - UA Undergrads Conducting Microgravity Research Aboard NASA's G-Force One

Monday 06/09/2014

What's up UA? - UA to Host U.S. and Mexico Officials Exploring Collaborations in Education, Innovation, Research

Thursday 06/05/2014

What's Up UA? - New Wilderness Medicine Class Hones Patient Care Skills in Rugged Conditions

Tuesday 06/03/2014

Track Cats Send Eight Athletes to TrackTown USA

Monday 06/02/2014

What's Up UA? - Bringing a Spacecraft Back From the Dead

Friday 05/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Heart Attack Patient Defies Odds with Tailored Surgical Treatment at UA Medical Center

Thursday 05/29/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Marketing Students Win National AT&T Competition

Tuesday 05/27/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Friday 05/23/2014

What's up UA? - Four UA Students Picked for Pat Tillman Foundation Scholarships

Wednesday 05/21/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists Discover Genetic Basis of Pest Resistance to Biotech Cotton

Monday 05/19/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Tunnels Get Carbon Fiber Makeover

Thursday 05/15/2014

What's Up UA? - Earning a UA Degree, in a Grandfather’s Memory

Tuesday 05/13/2014

What's Up UA? - UA's Phoenix Cancer Center is 'Topped Off,' Joins Award-Winning Medical School Building

Thursday 05/08/2014

What's Up UA? - University of Arizona to Offer Nation’s First Bachelor of Arts in Law

Monday 05/05/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Combating Health Disparities to Build Healthier Communities

Wednesday 04/30/2014

What's Up UA? - Scientists at the UA Make Critical End-Stage Liver Disease Discovery

Friday 04/25/2014

What's Up UA? - A Century-Long Track Record of Serving Arizona and Benefiting the State's Economy

Wednesday 04/23/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Opens Nation’s First Resource Center for Student Vets Studying Health Care UA Wildcat Instant Decision Days at PCC campuses April 29-May 2

Monday 04/21/2014

What's Up UA? - UA Scientists to Begin Construction on NASA Spacecraft that will Visit Asteroid in 2018

Thursday 04/10/2014

What's Up UA? - Spring Fling Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Return to UA Mall

Monday 04/07/2014

Mauga’s Walkoff Sweeps Stanford

Thursday 04/03/2014

What's Up UA? - 4-H Programs Bring Enrichment and Learning to Thousands in Arizona

Monday 03/31/2014

What's Up UA? - The Viruses You Don't Know About (Yet)

Tuesday 03/25/2014

What's Up UA? - Twice Torn Apart: A UA Alumna's Road to the Paralympic Games

Tuesday 03/18/2014

What's Up UA? - Tucson Village Farm Honored as Model Program for the Nation

Friday 03/14/2014

What's Up UA? - Several UA Graduate Programs Reach New Heights

Tuesday 03/11/2014

What's Up UA? - Olympics Interns Share Sochi Experiences

Oro Valley Audiology

Oro Valley AudiologyAddress: 2542 E Vistoso Commerce Loop Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755Phone:(520) ...

Spacer4px

Follow us on Facebook

Online poll

Loading…
Loading…