Vanessa Albury | A. Bills-Levi | Gayle Brooker | Lisa Chou | Margaret Clarke | T. Davidson | Steven Davis | John Duckworth | Meghan Henley | Krist Mills | Sue Murray | Dorothy Netherlands | Rachel O’Neal | Larissa Patel | Lynn Patterson | Matt Smithson | Jonathan Walsh
I find maneuvering what people perceive as real into my own version of truth therapeutic. Drawing from a background rooted in two conflicting belief systems, I find my voice amidst the contradictions. I have a need to synthesize the world around me, to make my own world, thus balancing the seeming polar opposites in myself. The representational qualities of a photograph provide me with the tools I need to explore my perception of life and the world around me.
Place and the elapse of time have been reoccurring themes in my photographs. The series The Passages, one of my earlier series, invokes the presence of eroding buildings. There is a void, or a negative, of human influence in the neglect. I use both formal thinking about lines and light, and intuitive methods in selecting the framing of my subjects and the final prints. The series Elegies began with adding figures to my spaces. In this series, I more directly contrast living figures with the dying spaces. Long exposures allowed time for the figure to pass through the space; activity and transience contrasting with the slow degeneration of the building. My focus shifted more toward the moving figure as I shot Elegies.
Currently, I am shooting medium format black and white film, 4×5 color negatives and Polaroid prints as well as printing from both negatives and digitally manipulated Photoshop documents. My subject is the active figure in nature. With the current series In Place, I am exploring the relationship of the individual with his or her environment in both natural landscapes and artificial surroundings. I am fascinated by the way the human body moves through familiar spaces and the emotional bearing these environments have on the individual. For example, with the double exposed image Lauren and the Creek1, I return with my sister to a creek bed that we played in as children. In this image, I enjoy the effects of layering a scene upon itself, investigating the relationship between the actions within exposures and the void of action between exposures. With the series In Place, I explore personal curiosities about my specific surroundings, the nature of habitats, and the qualities of individuals interacting over time with the environment.
A Japanese film critic once came to the conclusion that “nature leads to thinking about how things really are,” upon contemplating the role of nature in Akira Karusawa’s film Rashomon. InRashomon, the characters investigate a murder. Each time the narrative is told by a witness, the facts are presented differently to the point of conflicting with the other characters’ versions. Nature has a multifaceted and layered role in society, from sustaining to decorative to threatening. The role of nature in society is also connected to the notion of how “things really are.” I am exploring these dual aspects in myself and in the world around me through photography.