Walden: Four Views will be on exhibit in the Concord Museum’s Wallace Kane Gallery from February 10 through August 20, 2017

Production stills of Walden: Four Views

These four works are visual responses to Thoreau’s writings about Walden.  Using his observations as a map for my picture-making walks helped me stay within a well-defined physical territory, while at the same time giving me the freedom to imagine new variations on this well-known site.  The form of the pond is set, but the possibility of finding a variety of worlds within it is endless and open to new eyes.  In these pictures, I hope to suggest a coming together of the objective and subjective- a pond of the body and pond of the mind simultaneously.  Thoreau was such a precise observer of his physical world that I believe his genius is made up of equal parts looking and thinking and that’s why Walden has remained both a place and an idea until now.

-Abelardo  Morell

“The greatest depth was exactly one hundred and two feet; to which may be added the five feet which it has risen since, making one hundred and seven. This is a remarkable depth for so small an area; yet not an inch of it can be spared by the imagination. What if all ponds were shallow? Would it not react on the minds of men? I am thankful that this pond was made deep and pure for a symbol. While men believe in the infinite some ponds will be thought to be bottomless.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“Walden is blue at one time and green at another, even from the same point of view. Lying between the earth and the heavens, it partakes of the color of both. Viewed from a hilltop it reflects the color of the sky; but near at hand it is of a yellowish tint next the shore where you can see the sand, then a light green, which gradually deepens to a uniform dark green in the body of the pond. In some lights, viewed even from a hilltop, it is of a vivid green next the shore. Some have referred this to the reflection of the verdure; but it is equally green there against the railroad sandbank, and in the spring, before the leaves are expanded, and it may be simply the result of the prevailing blue mixed with the yellow of the sand. Such is the color of its iris.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time…….In our most trivial walks, we are constantly, though unconsciously, steering like pilots by certain well-known beacons and head-lands, and if we go beyond our usual course we still carry in our minds the bearing of some neighboring cape; and not till we are completely lost, or turned round, – for a man lost, – do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of Nature.”

-Henry David Thoreau

“The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred waters of the Ganges.”

-Henry David Thoreau