Senses In Animate
This portrait series is an exploration and celebration of people engaged in the process of activating one or more of their five senses including hearing, touch, sight, smell, taste. As someone who has acute senses that at times overwhelm me with intensity, and even a sixth sense that is quite significant, I was interested in pursuing a project that would allow me make portraits of subjects with overlapping reactions to things that excited their senses. But what was most exciting to me in this project are the seconds in between frames when I was able to capture some very beautiful stillness in each individual, while they were unaware of the camera, during these multiple exposure takes. This is something I call the “stillness” of the “interiority of being.”
This project idea came about when I was using in-camera multiple exposure for another project and was struck by the beautiful and poignant variances in emotional reactions of the subjects I was working with in frames that were shot just seconds apart. In that project, I was working with imagined stimuli, but I was curious how real stimuli could illicit a chain reaction of responses through touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight to be caught in multiple exposure in a single image over the course of seconds.
Each subject was asked to pick objects from a large table filled with choices of fruit, candy, drinks, vessels, musical instruments, gloves, books, candles, textural fibers, and much more. Over the course of each session, subjects were allowed to choose various items to explore in front of the camera in a relaxed environment. Each frame I made was witness to the sensory experience as it occurred over an extended period of a minute or less.
The result of this project contained many surprises that enhanced the pleasure of making the work as well as viewing it in all its complexity. Many of the images are cubist in nature and speak to the near simultaneous sensations we are capable of feeling, while abstracting the portrait image to a point where the viewer must decide how to enter to the image and find their way around the various layers and depths. The mental challenge to these images is the aspect that invites the viewer to participate in the image, stop and investigate it, and to ask questions that he or she must also answer as they navigate it.
I Am: Dancer Identity
An investigation into core identity, alter ego, and/or hidden or secret identity of each dancer. The Dance/Memory project is an ongoing photographic journey that has led me to photograph over 20 dancers as I seek to capture something at the very heart of dance. The images I seek are images rooted in truth and authenticity. They are the images that form a nexus of body, mind and spirit, and which make indelible impressions in our memories and our souls.
I have made photopolymer gravures out of 27 pieces in the series. Since this is a time-intensive process that requires many hours for a single image to be made, I will continue making photopolymer gravures and new work with dancers for some time. I am currently scheduling opportunities to share this work in exhibits at galleries and in educational institutions, as well as to share a multi-media presentation of the images and my photographic process and journey in making this series.
Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil
At the dawn of the #metoo movement, I was struck with how women of all ages have been conditioned to keep quiet by the forces of both men (and other women). These forces continue the patterns of social conditioning that silence women in numerous ways through shaming, blaming, and making us believe our voices are uncouth, too loud, or that society will shun us if we talk too much about experiences of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or the reality that from birth we are subject to terrific amounts of mass and social media that condition females that to be "man pleasing" and to be sexually desirable. This series reflects my concern with all of these issues through the western interpretation of the Japanese Three Monkeys who hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. With their hands over the eyes, ears or mouth, the body language suggests turning a blind eye, and whether the intent is reluctant, painful, or permissive it perpetuates the harm being done to women by not acknowledging it.
Dance/Memory Artist Statement
Dance is the perfect expression of body, mind and spirit. It is freedom, release, joy, power and storytelling in a common language that is understood by all cultures. Dance also is a fleeting art form that exists most fully only in the moment it is being performed. When it is over, we are left with subjective, partial impressions of the experience. And, as time goes on, our memory of the performance may blur and morph until it becomes a single image or series of images or simply a vague remembrance of a feeling that defines our experience.
This work strives to describe the experience of the memory of dance and how each of us selects various moments, mental images, meaning and subtext to remember long after the dance performance is over.
Images that capture the ambiguity of that special age between childhood and young adulthood. This is the first subject in an ongoing series I am developing on thirteen year old girls, their special places, their favorite things, and the way they are experiencing fluctuations in identity and personal aspiration in their lives.
Images created out of a reaction to the #metoo movement which begins in how women are objectified in mass media advertising.
In the midst of President Elect, Donald Trump’s campaign, I was shaken to the core as a woman, a human, a person of compassion and a believer in good. His words on almost every occasion he spoke were divisive, insulting and disrespectful to women, non-Christian religions, non-white races, and even those with disabilities.
The images in this series were initially imagined in part (sans political influence) as a way to express ideas of how women, in particular, are imagined and portrayed in popular advertising, media and culture. As the campaign evolved, so did my images.
I explore the cellular level of the photographic image, the pixel, as a way to “reveal” and “conceal” parts of the person, the truth, the device, the subject and to expose the fact that our images are just pixels, malleable, interpretable, unreliable markers of time and truth, yet they are powerful and often perceived as truth.
Some of the images I have made shroud the woman’s face or parts of her body in paint or pixilation that is meant to negate her individual importance without diminishing her appeal. Others try for this but are unable to diminish her power.
The digital mark making with paint on these images is vital part of my personal connection to them. All of the images are created with intense colors that draw from pop culture and signify the visual culture and intensity of advertising and mass media, reminding us that the color palette and subject are enriched.
The images in this body of work represent the fusion of hybridization of mark making and photography. The constraints of photographic purity and technical skill began lifting with the post-modernists and have further opened up the photograph as just one tool to be used in the ever-growing vocabulary or art making.
The potential for mark making, re-appropriation, reinterpretation and digital manipulation allow for enormous flexibility and conceptual bandwidth in expanding the possibilities of photography.