MY TOES MISS THE CRUNCH OF DIRT Archival memories, a nostalgic view of the California landscape I call home.
subtly > Nalani Knauss

Thinking of home, the terrain becomes a muddled puzzle.
Belonging isn't something you can seize; you may not demand it, or decree it. It arrives as a feeling.
Grasping the nostalgia of past experience blurs and dissipates in the melting haze of bygone days.
I find myself craving the familiarity and sensations of belonging. The taste of salt suds and surf intermingled with the crunch of sand beneath my toes.

What comes to mind are the idyllic landscapes of the rough Sonoma coastline, foaming waves, golden rolling hills, granular sands, and crumbling rock. Landscapes, like memories, are caught in the process of time, perpetually weathering away.

Daydreaming, soaked in reminiscence, I feel as if I am an unknown visitor lurking in the shadows. I try to fit myself into familiar contours.

Bare feet dig into sand.
The grit conceals the cloistered treasure of belonging.
The ground is something we tend to forget.
it forms the stability beneath our feet.
Can the ground itself be home?

My identity is still attached to the place that I call home, but I am constantly drifting away from the place that shaped me. Always arriving and a leaving; my constant comings and goings.

My Toes Miss the Crunch of Dirt.

I feel like I am constantly in flux. I move from one place to the next, back and forth from California to elsewhere. The goodbyes never get any easier. The images in my publication are from my archival material taken every time I return home to California. Returning home, I felt like a tourist trying to soak up every single moment. Going through archival material, I found that I had taken many photographs of bare feet touching the earth.

Nalani Knauss

I am drawn to intimate, individual, and community stories of people living outside of society’s walls in off-the-grid realities; those who live at the edge. I capture human habits, live portraits, and the unique craftsmanship of eccentric objects. I love being part of something greater than myself, whether living in an eco-village in Africa or working in slow food and on organic farms. These experiences continue to shape my longing for community and connection. I use different media, mainly photography, but importantly I enjoy crafting with my hands whilst collaborating and staging. Visually, my work contains handwritten text in combination with detailed collages and archival material.

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