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 ARTIST STATEMENT

 

 Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

My images are about time, loss and memory. By photographing and re-contextualizing precious memories, I have sought to understand how life proceeds, and then, ultimately disappears. I document the artifacts of the past in order to enrich the present. 

In “I Can Only Remember What I Don’t Forget,” I examine how families archive and pass down memories from generation to generation. This work responds to a universally relatable experience, of sifting through the items left behind, determining how to incorporate our inheritance.This exploration of objects from the past led me to explore the books of my childhood.

 In “Prior Pleasures,” each photograph of a vintage book is taken using a multiple exposure technique, incorporating end pages, illustrations, and text. This allows me to show the excitement of a book fluttering open, coming to life for readers of all generations.

This led me to the series “Seeking Epicurus.” As I looked around my home of forty years, I realized I had accumulated many objects. Photographing each object prior to donation transformed the items into a still life — evidence of all the life lived within these walls.

My most recent body of work, “VISUAL DNA...the language of photograph” encourages the viewer to ask what is the most important part of an image. Using deconstructed parts of found photographs and overlays, I introduce another strategy of deciphering visual information.
 

Together, I hope that my photographs offer answers to a basic question—“What does our past mean to us--as individuals, as families, and as a community?”

 
 

 

 

PRIOR PLEASURES

 “Every man’s memory is his private literature.”  Aldous Huxley

In an age when technology is slowly replacing the tactile experience of reading a book, my work recalls and celebrates the joy of losing oneself within the pages of a favorite childhood tale.

Prior Pleasures is deeply influenced by my love of literature. This series explores memory and preservation of the past while ensuring the creation of a visual legacy for the next generation. The books photographed for this series are the ones I have carried with me since childhood. My mother read them to me and, in turn, I read them to my children, carrying on a tradition of the written and spoken word.

Excited by the camera obscura work of photographer, Albelardo Morell, Prior Pleasures explores the myth of the photographic truth and inspired me to create a new way of looking at childhood icons.
 

Prior Pleasures is created using a multiple exposure technique (without Photoshop) by photographing the end pages, illustrations, and text into one image. This process allows me to show the excitement of a book fluttering open and coming to life for readers of all generations.

Rediscovering these books led me to realize the power and value of the hands-on experience of reading. In and age of e-readers, Prior Pleasures is meant to remind us that books can excite and enrich our lives.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 I CAN ONLY REMEMBER WHAT I DON'T FORGET

 "What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that is gone forever, impossible to reproduce"  Karl Lagerfeld

I Can Only Remember What I Don't Forget is about time, memory, loss and the creation of a legacy for the future. By photographing images and artifacts astheyexisted at my parent’s home, the new photographs create a different way of exploring personal history and the process of recollection.

This series references the genre of still life, popular in 17th century Europe, especially the Netherlands. It’s emphasis was on the home, personal possessions and diversions of everyday life as it was known at that time.

In the 21st century, Isiuchi Miyako, well-known Japanese photographer, explores the genre of still life through photographs of items left behind when her mother passed away. Continuing this tradition, “I Can Only Remember What I Don’t Forget” recontextualizes intimate family photographs and objects into contemporary still life images.

Although the moments may be impossible to reproduce, they often linger. Sifting through vintage photographs and artifacts helps to create a personal narrative. However, the experience is never the same and the memory fades. This fleeting moment in time reminds us that we can only remember what we don't forget, since some things are gone forever.  

I created these images to hold onto memories that are slipping away, not only from me personally, but from my family and eventually from all of us. It is a reminder that there is and was a world before technology.

 

 

 VISUAL DNA—the language of photographs

  “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

When reading a photograph that includes people, it is usual to look at the faces first to see if we recognize the person, can interpret their feelings or feel a connection with them .”VISUAL DNA… the language of photographs” introduces another way of deciphering information in photographs .

Influenced by early photography and pictorialism, VISUAL DNA…the language of photographs”  references Gerhard Richter’s blurred photographs from the 1960’s  and John Baldassari’s photographs of people with colored circles in front of their faces. "If you can't see their face, you're going to look at how they're dressed, maybe their stance, their surroundings," he explains.

In order to evoke the passage of time and relate the image to ones own personal and collective memory, this series  changes the way in which the person/persons are arranged to allow the viewer to concentrate on gestures.

Also related is William Eggleston’s series of modest sized photographs that dwell on fragments of reality that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Reading parts of the image helps to clarify when, where and perhaps why the photograph was taken. This context allows interpretation of the social and cultural norms of the time period and possibly the intent of the photographer. Many of the images I have selected are in studio and may be the only remembrances of a family past. Other snapshots may indicate the cultural background or values of the photographer

VISUAL DNA..the language of photographs” challenges us to “read” and interpret a photograph filling in the visual language and context as best we can.

 

 

SEEKING EPICURUS

  “Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance. " Epicurus

 
Epicurus (Athenian philosopher 341-270 B.C.) taught that the path to happiness is found in the unburdening of extravagance. He felt the trappings of materialism often eclipsed the pleasure received by one’s possessions. His teachings would ultimately inspire Henry David Thoreau, Edward Carpenter, William Morris and others. Like so many who came before me, I realize that I, too, was seeking to simplify my life. I am seeking the ways of Epicurus. 
 
As I look around my home of forty years, I realize I have accumulatedlarge amounts of objects andmemories: toys, baby clothes, old medicine bottles, paint cans, unused fabrics, and clothing now considered vintage. Donating on a regular basis is part of my annual routine. However, like many Americans, my closets and garage continue to be overflowing.
 
Photographing each object prior to disposal or donation allows me to “keep” them and also give importance to the mundane. Each item is transformed into a still life—evidence of the home I built and the life lived within its walls (marriage, children, illness and survival, career and retirement). These photographs provide me with the necessary closure, allowing me to let go of the objects.