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$2,971 pledged of $10,000 goal
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By Heather McKay Bowes
$2,971 pledged of $10,000 goal
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About this project

fern
fern
found
found


This project has been burning a fire within my soul for years, it needed time to be understood and for it to become something tangible.  Bits and pieces, the seeds so to speak, have been tossed about,  in and out of my hands, as random photographs I have been compelled to make.  It wasn’t until recently that I could start writing it down and turning in to something I could share and spread with others.  So new, the roots are just beginning to spread and hold steadfast.  It will be the children, the mothers and fathers, the adventurers who crave the wild, those who step off the beaten path, they will make this project grow.  If you believe in the importance for our children to experience the wild, both in the soul and in their hands, I hope you will help.  I need you to get this project rolling.

The Wilderness Project will seek out children who most need the magic of the wild, the gifts of nature. The first phase of this Wilderness Project will take us into the woods, mountains, beaches, and rivers of New England.  Exploring will be from Maine through New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

I will be creating portraits of these children but more importantly each child will be photographing their Wilderness with a Holga or other film camera. Their photographs will show us how they see the wild around them, what is important to them, what they feel in their heart.  This can give each child the opportunity to see things in a way they may have not before, a different perspective.  It can show others the glorious wonderlands which guide children in being adventurous explorers.  The children will be asked to either write, tell, or sketch some of their discoveries made while photographing and this will be shared alongside their prints in a printed journal of their own. 

I am working to connect with families whose children may need art and nature to express, communicate, and heal themselves. Children who have lost a family member, suffer from chronic or terminal illness, or face anxiety which inhibits their learning and relationships, can all benefit from The Wilderness Project. And the other children, the ones who seem to have no need for this, they need it too. Someday life will throw them a challenge and they will be more able to face it with success if they know the power of being awake in the wild.

utah
utah
 

I have given myself one full year for the New England Wilderness Project so that it may be photographed it in all its forms and seasons.  I dream of this project growing throughout the entire United States, giving so many children the experience of exploring their Wilderness.   

There will be beautiful art interwoven among the pages of this book by Meredith C. Bullock. In my heart I felt the need for something more then portraits and photographs. Meredith's art will be a beautiful addition to the final book. Little bits of magic found throughout, like treasures found in the wild.

Meredith C. Bullock is a full-time artist, illustrator and designer living in Nashville, TN with her talented music-making husband and little black cat. Meredith grew up in a small rural town surrounded by nothing but cornfields and woods. She recalls exploring the wild to find peace and wonder and drawing nature to capture the beauty around her. When Heather came to her with the idea of The Wilderness Project, she was immediately committed and transported to those moments that helped mold her heart and soul.

The Rewards and the Limited Edition Book will be printed by Artifact Uprising~ The masks worn by some of the children are created by Sundries and Plunder.  I will be having a guest gallery exhibit showcasing much of the completed New England work in August of 2013 in Boothbay Harbor ME. at Studio 53.   It will be a joint exhibit with my father, painter, Bob Mckay.  

Profits from sale of the books and of the children's prints will also go directly towards bringing more children into the wild, inspiring them to enter, to care, to connect, and explore.  This, I truly believe is the most important thing we can do to protect the wild ones and wild lands.  Get our children outside and let them fall in love with it's wonder and magic. Let them realize the power it has. 

Since my love of film is almost as strong as my love of the wild this is why The Wilderness Project needs you.  The thought of shooting this all in pixels just doesn't sit right with me.  It is the time in front of the computer I suppose, the time that I would rather be outside with the children exploring and showing, teaching, sharing, guiding which is important to me.  That is what the funding is needed for.  Much of the $10,000 will be returned to backers in Rewards and Gifts but the cost of film, developing, and some Grizzly Bars for fuel for the travels is what I am asking for help to cover.   I believe the project is so much bigger then myself, it has the potential to grow and spread, to ultimately fund itself and create a tribe of Wilderness children determined to save the magic that is meant for them. 

"What one loves about life are the things that fade."
Michael Ciminos

With so much gratitude, I thank you for believing in me... and in them. 
Heather.

self portrait
self portrait

Risks and challenges

Any project I suppose comes with risks. I see only incredible outcome and potential with going into the wilderness with children craving the goodness it gives to us. There are always risks with going off the beaten trail, with thinking outside the box, with getting our hands and feet dirty (and cold). I prepare for obstacles but plan for smooth sailing. Let's just say that all proceeds exceeding the project goal and any profit earned from the sale of prints, books, and products from this will go immediately into funding us to keep exploring and sharing the wilderness with as many children as we can. Thank you.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A gracious thank you shouted out from a mountain top, a deep forest, a river's edge... and your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Postcard from a Child of the Wilderness sent from the nearest mailbox found, with a quote about the Wilderness they explored and a small token of gratitude. These will be mailed out during the year of the project. Your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ~Set of 5 square 5x5 prints, photographs from our travels into the Wilderness. These are printed on high-quality textured matte-finished papers, packaged beautifully they are ready to gift as is or frame for display.
    ~A Postcard from a Child of the Wilderness sent from the nearest mailbox found, with a quote about the Wilderness they explored and a small token of gratitude. These will be mailed out during the year of the project.
    ~Your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ~Set of 20 unique postcards built into one sweet pack. Each one a photograph from the Northern Forest. Printed on double thick cover made of 100% recycled paper.

    ~Set of 5 square 5x5 prints, photographs from our travels into the Wilderness.

    ~A Postcard from a Child of the Wilderness sent from the nearest mailbox found, with a quote about the Wilderness they explored and a small token of gratitude. These will be mailed out during the year of the project.

    ~Your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    ~Gorgeous Limited Edition hard cover book The Wilderness Project ~ The Northern Forest Edition. At least 100 pages of photographs of the Wild places and the children among it. The children's Holga images as well as the portraits I make of them will make up this book. It will include quotes and poems by the children regarding the wild place they hold in their hearts.

    ~A Postcard from a Child of the Wilderness sent from the nearest mailbox found, with a quote about the Wilderness they explored and a small token of gratitude. These will be mailed out during the year of the project.
    ~Your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    ~Gorgeous Limited Edition hard cover book The Wilderness Project ~ The Northern Forest Edition. At least 100 pages of photographs of the Wild places and the children among it. The children's Holga images as well as the portraits I make of them will make up this book. It will include quotes and poems by the children regarding the wild place they hold in their hearts.

    ~One fine art print chosen from the Northern Forest Collection. Your choice, up to 11x14 or 12x12.

    ~A Postcard from a Child of the Wilderness sent from the nearest mailbox found, with a quote about the Wilderness they explored and a small token of gratitude. These will be mailed out during the year of the project.

    ~Your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ~one of the handmade animal masks used in the portraits. These are made by Sundries and Plunder, two sisters out of Oregon. https://www.etsy.com/shop/sundriesandplunder

    ~Set of 5 square 5x5 prints, photographs from our travels into the Wilderness.

    ~Set of 20 unique postcards built into one sweet pack. Each one a photograph from the Northern Forest. Printed on double thick cover made of 100% recycled paper.

    ~Gorgeous Limited Edition hard cover book The Wilderness Project ~ The Northern Forest Edition. At least 100 pages of photographs of the Wild places and the children among it. The children's Holga images as well as the portraits I make of them will make up this book. It will include quotes and poems by the children regarding the wild place they hold in their hearts.

    ~Your name or the name of a person you would like to honor listed in the gratitude page of The Wilderness Project Book- The Northern Forest Edition.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    This is YOUR Wilderness! A morning or afternoon of exploring nature with your child, with their very own journal, colored pencils, and a camera for them to record their own Wilderness Story. A lesson on "seeing and connecting" with their natural surroundings and how to tell a story with photographs, words, and drawings. Your child can use a Fuji INstax camera which produces beautiful INSTANT prints just like the Polaroids you remember! Or we may decide to use a Holga camera. That will be up to them and you.
    As a bonus I will also photograph your child and you will receive a gorgeous 16x20 print of them in their WIld and an online gallery to purchase additional prints.
    TRAVEL FEES: this does not cover travel fees. Within continental US requiring flight and overnight stay $500. BUT, gather your friends and you can divide up the travel fee!
    If you are closer and no flight then fee would be less.
    Within 1 hour of Epsom, NH? No travel fee!
    ADDITIONAL SIBLINGS or FRIENDS: $75 per to cover film expenses.
    MUST book within one year, plan ahead for next year!

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Funding period

- (34 days)