Because of their flowing and fleeting nature, birds in flight are one of my favorite (and most challenging) things to photograph. Clearly, I'm not the first artist to focus on birds as a way to explore ideas of freedom & spirit. Birds bring about powerfully evocative metaphors and their ethereal qualities are hard not to love.
This set is one that will continue to expand as long as I am a photographer. It is my goal to create images that evoke the grace, fluidity, and softness of birds in flight as well as the relationships they hold with each other, with trees, with water, with land and with space itself.
There is an irresistible draw to water and the edges of the earth; beaches, cliffs, waterfalls, even rivers & lakes. There is something particularly and universally moving about the power and primal nature of large, expansive bodies of water. Being at the edge of land and the beginning of water is a metaphor for past, present and future. It creates a feeling of being grounded in the present and simultaneously on the verge of something expansive and eternal.
"Somewhere between an attraction and a compulsion, the feeling of being drawn to water has been noted by observers of the human condition down through the ages. Surprisingly, the phenomenon seems not to have inspired so much as a shred of scientific research...there is something extremely basic, or primitive, about water (the understanding of which) doesn't require you to be scientific." - LA Times, Aquatic Attraction
It is easy to find beauty in the colors, shapes & patterns of plant life. I photograph plant life all the time, but there are certain images that somehow resonate stronger with me. It is hard to describe why this is...it just is. I find such beauty with the cycles of plant life, how they flourish and grow, then live dormant, and continue to be reborn each year. They are interdependent, expansive, simple and complex.
In this series, I wanted to explore femininity and the life affirming power of being a woman. I used different vessels and containers to play on the metaphor of a woman's ability to carry a child and allow life force energy to flow through her. I wanted to explore various experiences of being a woman surrounding this concept: courage, strength, softness, balance, trauma, giving life, losing life, holding on and letting go.
I traveled to Iceland in May of 2012, which is known as the "Land of Fire and Ice" because of it's incredible contrast, constant flux and stark beauty. It is home to both glaciers and volcanoes, some of the coldest air and hottest water on earth.
I was completely taken with these rocks and icebergs because each one had such personality and spirit of their own, born out of such opposite, yet connected biological processes.
I imagine what it would be like to be an animal; interconnected with nature, quiet and roaming the landscape, with fundamental needs, spirit and a connection with other animals.
This set was for a show called Flora and Fauna at Open Space Gallery in Beacon NY, alongside artist Patrick Winfield. I made each animal from pre-made paper mache animal figurines and decoupage, then photographed them in the landscape. Below is what each animal represents in various cultures.
ELEPHANT : strength, patience, wisdom
BIRD : communication, freedom, sight
ZEBRA : beauty, individuality, balance
SHEEP: pride, support, guidance
HORSE : stamina, loyalty, travel
PIG: emotions, protection, gluttony
SQUIRREL : gathering, preparation, thrift
COW : plenty, gentleness, nurturing
TIGER : power, strength, ferocity
Hand Mudras are symbolic or ritual gestures from Hindu and Buddhist cultures. The hands inherently embody power, meaning and memory on so many levels. Through my yoga practice, I have learned to appreciate these beautiful hand gestures as a powerful silent language, which are equally expressed and held inside the soul and outside of the body.
This is an ongoing project which I plan to expand on during the spring/summer of 2014. If you are interested in participating, contact me for further information.
Dusk and Dawn; the spaces between night and day, have been noted as the times closest to the spirit world because of their subtle and powerful transitionary nature. The quality of light during these times is my very favorite. It is misty, mysterious, fleeting, illuminated, saturated, deep, pure and ethereal. It is both beginning and end, a transition so noticeable and fleeting. It is so deeply quiet you can hear the hum of the universe, your own heartbeat and every little whisper of nature.
There is something so wonderful about black and white photography, especially when it is actually shot on film. It reminds me of being in the darkroom, something I think everyone that learned photography before digital holds dear. Black and white photography always reminds me that our perception of the world is completely dependent upon light and shadow. Though I haven't been in a darkroom in years, the process of creating images this way reminds me to slow down, see the world differently and have an appreciation for the world's first image makers.