Vernacular Landscape is a cultural landscape that evolves through people when their activities or occupancy shapes the land. Thus, the landscape reflects the physical, biological, and cultural character of the social and cultural attitudes of individuals, families, and communities. At the most basic level, our psychology and attitudes shape our perception of the world and drive our broader interactions with landscape. This series of work is an exploration of my own psychology and its intimate dialogue in defining and shaping place relative to people.
In 2014, my sister Jennifer was diagnosed with brain cancer. She had a tumor the size of a baseball sitting on her brain stem. In an effort to make light of the situation Jennifer decided to name her tumor Fred. Ultimately, treatment for Jen involved a permanent move to Massachusetts with her family. I picked up my camera in an effort to process all that was transpiring. This series documents my attempt to understand both a foreign place and a new reality for Jennifer.
I am happy to report that Jen beat the odds, she is loving life and living it up with her two sons Ethan and Spencer, and most importantly, Fred is dead!
— Ryan Nemeth, Portland, Oregon