My work is about the layers of civilization found where the built environment and other human traces are reshaping the natural environment. Past projects included Fifty Houses (1988-95, published 2002), Imagining Antarctica (1996, published 2000), Ocean / Prairie (1996-98), and Beyond the Tree Line (2000-2002). The five color galleries here are Main Streets (2001-present), Rowing the Schuylkill (2011-2015), Along the Banks (2012-2015), and Inland (2014-2022). For Inland I completed a 108-mile search for remnant infrastructure along the 19th century Schuylkill Navigation system in my native Southeastern Pennsylvania, and published a book in 2022 with George F. Thompson Publishing. I came to this subject after rowing on the slackwater pools created by two of the four remaining navigation dams (once there were 32), photographing from my boat, and exploring the 130-mile extent of the river's banks on land. Since 2013 I've worked at the Fairmount Water Works (FWW), the education arm of the Philadelphia Water Department. I specialize in canal research, tours, and education based around the towns, parklands, and infrastructure upriver from the FWW. For nearly thirty years I lived a few blocks from the Manayunk Canal and Lock 68 of the Schuylkill Navigation. My husband and I moved to Rhode Island in 2018, where I have begun photographing remains of the coastal forts, but I still work in Pennsylvania. My current (2023) book project is The Way Through: Images of Port Clinton and the Schuylkill Water Gap.

Sandy Sorlien
Philadelphia PA and Jamestown RI