Wall of Trees is an image from Meet Me in the Green Glen, a portrait of Ben, a marijuana grower in Northern California. This photograph was taken right before harvest time, when the plants are at their peak. Although marijuana is legal to grow and use in California within strict guidelines, there are situations in which it is still illegal. It is not culturally acceptable to grow or sell despite the fact that many people in the area grow pot and it is a large part of the local economy.
There are other marijuana farmers and dealers in the region who make up a small community but they mostly operate alone, they are socially and culturally isolated. Influenced by American writers Flannery O'Connor and Annie Proulx, whose writing evokes an ominously psychological and emotional sense of place, the story of these images is not simply about growing pot, but about flawed characters in a constant struggle with life. The environment becomes a character unto itself and amplifies the aloneness of the characters.
Maureen Drennan is a photographer born and based in New York City. She attended University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She is currently an adjunct professor of photography at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, New York.