I use my photography to explore subjects hidden in plain view, as well as our relationship with those subjects. My camera becomes the vehicle that allows me to focus on these objects and survey issues that represent change, growth, decay, renewal, abandonment, and a little bit of nostalgia.
I created the Wells of Renewal and Decay as a series that explores the possible stories hidden in the visible marks left on the surfaces of water tanks used for watering livestock on farms and ranches. The abundance of the symbolism of the well and water are multi-layered. On the other hand, these man-made objects, which break the natural landscape, serve a vital, life-sustaining, utilitarian purpose, especially in the agricultural arena. This series of images capture small portions extracted from the water tank surfaces. The results become visually abstract and represent transformations that result from the passage of time, nature, utilization, neglect, and abandonment. These compositions are rich with color, design, texture, and untold stories. The beauty of their states of decay, and the marks left behind, become a lexicon, as well as an elegy to the passage of time, and perhaps a changing way of life.
Grandpa’s Glass began with the discovery of a stack of glass my grandfather salvaged, stacked, and stored for some unknown project or purpose. Some twenty years after his passing a few of these panes of glass made their way to me, touched by time, and yet exactly as he had stored them. As I began using these panes of glass in my photography, their meaning became an homage to a man, as well as a challenge to give the physical objects he left behind a new life.
A common thread in most of my photographs includes an element of abandonment, neglect, and overlook. The glass panes certainly are all of these, but in some ways, so was the man who is the inspiration. The resulting images rely heavily on symbolism and memory as tools to say what words cannot.
I have a long fascination with aerial photography. Finding the familiar from a different perspective can keep me occupied and challenged as I put the visual puzzle together. I have always thought the patterns and shapes resemble patches of a handmade quilt. On recently travels that include commercial flights, I have used my iPhone to capture the rather abstracted patterns and colors just for the beauty of the unique perspective it affords. One day, I will fly unencumbered by doors and windows that are barriers from the images I want to capture. But, for now, my iPhone is all I need to capture the moments.
BLACK AND WHITE
I began my photography experience in the days of analog. I loved every aspect of developing and printing black and white images, but I shelved my photography exploration while I worked at jobs in the cubicle world for the next 20 years. In 2006, my husband gave me a point and shoot digital camera and endured listening to me lament about the “good ol’ days” of film. I even carried my old film camera from my college days as a “back-up”. I am not sure if it was a sign of protest or security, but, I do know, I was not going to give it up easily. I soon realized how much I missed a camera in my hand, but, oh my, how things changed in that 20-year hiatus. In many ways, I began re-learning photography, but that journey also afforded me the opportunity to enjoy the whole photography experience anew.
Although times and photography have changed, I still believe there are images whose story is heightened when the distraction of color is removed. The images somehow become richer when a full tonal range distills the story down to shapes, forms, lines, light, shadows, and texture.
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