Gretchen LeMaistre


During an artist residency in March 2019, I was invited to take a boat ride around Turnbull Bay, a salt and freshwater estuary in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Having grown up in Florida, it is for me a place of memory and the marking of time. These days I hear my mother saying, "Well, all this is gonna be underwater soon." In 2017, our family home was destroyed by a hurricane Irma river surge. Influenced by these memories, I photographed double exposures in camera while the boat traveled.

Turnbull Bay is just one example of a Florida landscape that is transforming rapidly from a salt marsh to a mangrove ecosystem. Recent hurricanes and warmer temperatures have allowed invasive mangrove trees to take root further and further north. As they announce the troubling arrival of climate change, mangroves also provide benefits of carbon storage and storm water protection. I am interested in the way that humans and wildlife coexist in these habitats, with all that is on the horizon.