While walking in East Rock Park in New Haven last fall, photographer Roy Money came across a leaf which captivated him. Without hesitation, he set up his tripod and took a number of shots of the solitary green leaf, worn in spots, slightly folded over.
“I am drawn to textures and details of the natural world as they become a kind of microcosm for me, revealing the wonders of the simplest things we often take for granted,” said Money. “That leaf is part of a tree which is part of a forest and an ecosystem that has been around for an incalculable time taking in our CO2 and oxygenating the air for us to breathe.”
Money thinks hard about nature and brings his fascination of capturing its essence in photographs as the June artist-in-residence at Weir Farm.
On Monday, June 24, Money will give a talk and show slides and prints of his work at 6 p.m. at Wilton Library. There will be a reception for him on Thursday, June 27, at 1 p.m., at Weir Farm Studio on Nod Hill Road.
Raised in Tennessee, Money went to art school in the 1980s, but he put his photography career on hold when he became a father in order to make a living for his family. He taught high school math and was a biostatistician at Yale.
Two decades later, after his son had grown up and moved to Asia, Money visited him and it changed his life.
He was captivated by Asian sensibilities and gardens, which were not dominated by flowers and grass, but by rocks. The styling and placement of the rocks mesmerized him. “There was a sense of being part of nature, not conquering and controlling nature like we do in the West,” he said.
Money’s experience in China rekindled his interest in photography and taking photographs with a new sensibility about nature.
He then spent 11 years taking photographs, teaching, and holding solo and group exhibitions. He is a member of a Kehler Liddell co-op gallery in New Haven and the New Haven Arts Council. He officially retired in 2013, but he is still fascinated by nature and how he can show it in photos.
“I like to find subject matter that fills much of the camera frame and is not just a ‘subject’ against a background. Of course, I am always dealing with something in front of the camera, but I want the picture to be an intimate view that draws the viewer in,” he said.
One subject that interested him was a group of live oak trees converging in their canopies he saw on a visit to a park near Tampa, Fla.
“I found the trees to be interacting in an almost social manner, as if they are conversing or are rooted in the sky. There was a sense of interconnection or ‘interbeing,’ and the interweaving of trunks and limbs and foliage against the pale sky was very appealing color wise,” he said.
To see more examples of his nature photography, visit roymoney.com.
Editor's Note: The starting time of the talk on June 24 was corrected to 6 p.m.