Photographer Beth Moon captures ancient trees
eth Moon is not a Santa Fe resident, but the city is one of her favorite places. What draws her here are “the shapes, color, and light of the landscape,” she told Pasatiempo. “It has a very soothing effect, like a tonic.” She may as well have been describing her photography, which can also serve as a balm for our tech-driven lives. Moon has photographed ancient trees all over the world, capturing images of survivors that are seemingly impervious to time. Their curvaceous trunks may hold the suggestion of movement, but they know how to stand still. Among the species Moon favors are baobabs, quiver trees, bristlecone pines, junipers, Joshua trees, sequoias, and oaks. On Feb. 1, 2017, Verve Gallery of Photography, which has represented Moon for almost a decade, will close after almost 14 years. Moon is among the artists represented in the gallery’s final show, opening Friday, Dec. 2. Her work is in the collections of institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. Moon’s 2014 book of photographs, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time (Abbeville Press), is an ode to trees, as is her most recent book, this year’s Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees (Abbeville Press), but she uses a strikingly different approach to the same subject in the latter series of photographs.