About the Photographer
American, b. 1972
Jesse Burke and his nine-year-old daughter, Clover, have been taking trips into nature for four years, fitting them into their busy lives as best they can. Most often they leave their suburban Rhode Island home and spend four or five days on the road exploring state parks, forest preserves, rivers, and beaches throughout New England. Sometimes the two just pick a heavily green area on the map and drive to it, letting the landscape surprise them. The “Wild + Precious” series documents the outings with his daughter and her experiences getting out of the suburbs and into nature where she roams freely. Burke admits to harboring a fantasy of the “wild child” as he observes her—existing in nature alone, small and vulnerable, but also courageous. Prior to this work, Burke investigated the meaning of masculinity in his series Intertidal, which explored gender stereotypes and the tension between male power and vulnerability.
Burke completed his BFA from the University of Arizona (2003) and his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (2005). He is a faculty member at the RISD and has been included in numerous exhibitions such as at the Perth Center for Photography, Australia (2011); and the Haggerty Museum of Art, WI (2010, 2011); and the San Diego Art Institute, CA (2016). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Newport Art Museum, Rhode Island, among many others. He received the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Aaron Siskind Fellowship in 2008