Jesse Burke: Wild & Precious
Exhibition: April 7 – 30, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, April 7th, 5:30 to 8:30pm
The Wild & Precious works bring together treasures from a series of road trips traveled over 5 years by photographer Jesse Burke and his daughter Clover to explore the natural world. To encourage a connection between his child and nature, Burke used these adventures to give her an education that he considers essential—one that develops appreciation, respect, conservation, and self-confidence. Together this father-and-daughter team studied beaches, land, sky, and animals. While on the road, they documented the routes they drove, the landscapes they discovered, the creatures they encountered, even the roadside motels where they slept. This book is as much about love and parenting as it is a hands-on training manual of new age environmentalism. Wild & Precious reveals the fragile, complicated relationship that humans share with nature and serves as a call to arms for parents and children everywhere: Get outside! Bookended by poetic letters the two wrote to one another, Wild & Precious is a modern-day love story between parent and child, natural world and society. Burke writes, “I want my children to genuinely understand how magical the world we inhabit is and how we, as humans, are an integral part of the system. I want them to feel a deep connection to every aspect of their surroundings.”
Each image title in the Wild & Precious series is named after a song that Johnny Cash wrote or recorded. His music and lyrics were a big part of their collective experience while on the road.
The goal of Wild & Precious is to encourage parents and children to spend time together connecting with the natural world. To experience the magic of discovering new landscapes and learning about new animals species. To encourage respect for nature and to nurture a deep understanding of environmental conservation. To illustrate every day opportunities for families to deepen relationships as a result of these simple and beautiful shared experiences. To unplug from the digital matrix, to get dirty and seek adventure.
Jesse Burke divides his time between personal art projects and commissioned work. A New England native, he currently lives in Rhode Island with his wife and their three daughters, Clover Lee, Poppy Dee, & Honey Bee. He received his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, where he is a faculty member, and his BFA from the University or Arizona. Jesse’s work deals with themes related to vulnerability and identity, as well as human’s complicated relationship with nature. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. and abroad including The Haggerty Museum, the Perth Center for Photography, the Tucson Museum of Art, the Print Center in Philadelphia and the Lishui Photo Festival in China and is held in many private and public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Jesse was recently named one Time Magazine’s top 50 US photographers to follow on Instagram. Jesse is a member of Childhood Unplugged, a cooperative group of photographers who are making a conscious effort to encourage our children to get back to the art of play. Burke is represented by ClampArt in NYC and Platform Gallery on the west coast, and commercially by Tea & Water Pictures.
Selections from the Exhibition: