Wednesday, August 19, 2015

FINLAND!  Oh how I love thee!

I spent the month of February in the Finnish countryside at Arteles Creative Center.  The experience was full of wondering and wandering in the dim light and darkness of the winter season.  Complete with a traditional Finnish sauna and a deep forest of birch trees, Arteles Creative Center provided a space of solitude for myself and 9 other artists from around the world.  As a group, we observed days of silence and intentional disconnection from the Internet, matching the quiet of this landscape. 

Embracing the darkness of winter, I focused my time on creating night images.  There is an added peculiarity in the night landscape that attracts me.  This intersection of beauty and strangeness holds a feeling of both tension and stillness and brings with it the experience of other-ness.  I went looking for the sauna elves and the magic of the northern lights; I went to heal myself.  I found that in darkness there is depth, understanding and immense beauty.

“Whoever you are:  some evening take a step out of your house, which you know so well.  Enormous space is near.”    -Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, April 14, 2014

Last MFA Critique!

Thesis work title:  The Road Home

Thank you to all of my CCAD community who have been part of this process with me.  As many of you know, this work has come from a very personal part of my own journey that touches on the very universal experience of loss.  

Looking back at my first blog post from last year, I thought it was interesting that I was reading "Care of the Soul" by Thomas Moore.  Another quote I wrote down from this book seems like foreshadowing to me, referring to the story "The Odyssey" as "a deeply felt risky unpredictable tour of the soul".  That is what this work has been, although at the time I wrote the quote down, I didn't realize its gravity.

Through the experience of sudden loss, reality is ripped open and in a sense you are dropped to the depths of yourself and confronted with the darkness of life.  In this experience, there is a break down of your "world" which requires time spent going inward and piecing back together the world in a new way.  There is a common response to loss that is related to shock and the natural inclination is disconnection, to retreat into one's self.  The images are taken from this introverted space which is important for both healing and for finding meaning in life as it now is.  The soul must emerge from the depths of its darkest night, to maintain its place in this world.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

After finalizing my artist statement for the show, I've been editing and selecting images that speak most clearly to the three areas of grief, honor and remembrance.  

I'm also figuring out how I will display the work in the gallery.

Not much else to report on this blog...  see some of you in critique.

Here is my artist statement for the show:

This body of work charts a path of loss.  The images present varying viewpoints of moments spent grappling with the passing of my father.  This process has included grieving, honoring and remembering.  The photographs have become containers for the experience, revealing the presence of absence.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Photographs connect us to our lives, both to the physical spaces we live in and our emotional experience of that time.  As a photographer, I utilize external space to reference the interior landscape.  

For my Thesis work, I'm creating a visual story, documenting the inner and outer terrain of my own journey and coming to terms with the loss of my father.  This journey is filled with a sense of isolation, loneliness, searching, intense grief and nostalgia.  

I'll be using some of the images below and others to create the story, combing current photographs with images from the past.   I'm wanting to create a sense of zooming in and out of time, past, present, memory and reflection.  Patricia Hampl talks about the imaginal quality of memory, that we remember certain moments of our lives and the rest is filled in by the imagination, to make sense of our story.  

"The frightening revelation of abysses that defy the human understanding is dismissed as illusion, and the poet is regarded as a victim and perpetrator of the deception.  Even to the poet his primordial experience was "human-all too human," to such a degree that he could not face its meaning but had to conceal it from himself."  -Carl Jung, Psychology and Literature.  My approach to storytelling is through creating photographs that are coded images of memories out of reach or fractured by their strangeness and immensity.

"We don't want to know the extent of our fragility in the face of death.  To peel the fictions of our created lives is an act of supreme courage, viewed by some as lunacy." -Maureen Murdock, Unreliable Truth.