Pretty Ugly
Meandering, hardcover, handbound. Printing by Conveyor Studio. 

Pretty Ugly is a project that focuses on the landscape of New Jersey, both the beautiful and ugly. It force's the viewer to look beyond their preconceived notions of the binaries of beauty and think about how development has shaped the landscape and vice versa. The project started out of my fascination with the mix of nature and industry in the state. Although New Jersey's nickname is The Garden State, most people brush this off because most of what the state is known for is its industrial areas and for being the armpit of New York City. Much of New Jersey's landscape has been shaped by existing between two major U.S. cities, and while it is often seen as ugly, there is something kind of pretty about the industrial landscapes with their repeating patterns and geometric shapes. These eyesores are infrastructure and provide its neighboring cities with resources while taking one the name of ugly. Meanwhile, the naturally pretty parts of the state are enjoyed without a second thought to the impact they have on the ecosystem. Overall this project has been a love letter to the state, pretty and ugly.

The action of unfolding a map inspired the guide. The content is curated so that each square reveals new information to the viewer, making them think deeper about the subject.


Installation view
Civic Square Building, New Brunswick

Relief printing with gouache handcoloring.