Many years before making these photographs, I was traveling by car with a local friend in Italy when we made an unexpected stop. Instead of going to a grocery store in town, there we were, at a nondescript location, woodlands before us. My friend proceeded to traverse the landscape performing an activity that stretches back millennia; that was my introduction to foraging.
When another opportunity to forage presented itself, this time in Rhode Island, my intention was to turn the experience into a portrait comprised of traditional culture and elements of nature. Though the person I photographed, Frank DeAngelis, did not live off the grid, he would regularly forage, hunt and fish as well as garden. The photographs show what it is like to have a longstanding, highly evolved relationship with the natural world.
I shot these pictures in an improvised manner due to Frank’s steady march across the landscape, through brambles, and over stone walls. He was following his own internal path and knew exactly where it was leading us. I believe that the point of his foraging with me that afternoon wasn’t only to gather fungi, but to impress upon me how nature can be braided into one’s life.