An unbounded interior, the home is a space rich in memory; it resonates with the people’s lives that have passed through. Hidden amongst the wallpaper patterns and the furniture are the stories. They emerge with a touch or a smell; the rough texture of a pillow, the warm scent of tea. The space talks to us. And it remembers everything.
The objects or characters in my photographs are insects: mealworms, ladybugs, crickets and ants. Within my frame and under my control, these insects are stopped in transformation – both literally and metaphorically. Devoid of Photoshop manipulation, each image is constructed in front of the camera (a 4x5 view camera) before the shutter is clicked. The sculptural approach to the object being photographed allows there to be a greater relationship between myself and the sensory qualities of the objects I photograph. Each insect I work with has its own difficulties and possibilities in constructing a pattern. Taking on the decorative elements of the home, the insects obtain a poetic vitality through their relationship to the home – one that forces us to question both how we relate to the natural world and of what we imagine it to be capable.
All photographs shot with 4x5" color film, printed as archival inkjet prints.
In Her Absence (509 Mealworms)
In Her Absence (1320 Mealworms)
In Her Absence (221 Mealworms)
Silent Musicians (1848 Crickets)
Silent Musicians (572 Crickets)
Ladies in Red (1800 Ladybugs)
Ladies in Red (795 Ladybugs)
Ladies in Red (72 Ladybugs)
I'll Remember For You
Each photo in this series is a portrait of an individual that died on October 26, 1993, the same day as my mother. As a way of dealing with her death, and a greater look into how American society deals with, or rather avoids, death, I created a series of portraits. Each image is based off of the minimal information taken from an obituary. Similar to how we approach death, the portraits are seen through many filters. My understanding of the individual is screened through the writer of the obituary, the editor of the paper and the cultural ideals of what is worth remembering.
Eldon Dyer (1929 - 10.26.1993)
Marc Legault (1962 - 10.26.1993)
Florence M. Rounds (1920 - 10.26.1993)
Sarah Reading (1976 - 10.26.1993)
Lewis D. Mellen (1917 - 10.26.1993)
Albert J. Wisch (1919 - 10.26.1993)
Neal Kennedy Cooley (1963 - 10.26.1993)
John F. Keefe (1917-10.26.1993)
Naomi Willis (1896-10.26.1993)
Irene B. Diehl (1904 - 10.26.1993)
At home, we can safely venture into our own minds. Inside, protected from the wind, the rain, the cars, the world; any movement is your own, and any change is one you cultivate. There is stillness, a comfort in the moment when the afternoon sun illuminates the wall. Sliding across the floorboards, the light catches each ball of dust and carries with it life. That light, that welcome invasion, predictable with its timing, yet choosing its days carefully. It's one of the persistent reminders of the vitality and presence of the natural world.
Natural materials have been imbued with spiritual connotations throughout history. Nature remains at the heart of fairy tales and myths, while religions invest the natural with mystical qualities. However, these qualities are only part of a complex relationship between humans and nature. "Although we are accustomed to separate nature and human perception into two realms, they are, in fact, indivisible" (Schama, Simon. Landscape and Memory). Most, if not all, natural systems have been modified by culture. We identify plants, we cultivate hybrids; they're our food, our products, and our aesthetic. This interaction is everywhere; it is unavoidable and it is not inherently wrong. However, the interaction I'm employing within my home is of a slightly different nature. The objects, though still identifiable, are meant to regain some of their mythic rawness. Most of the materials I'm working with are nature in its most domesticated form, plucked from the manicured yards of suburbia or the produce shelves of the market. But what I see in these objects and what I hope to evoke, is that despite our unyielding efforts to adapt nature to our needs, there is still within it vivacity, an energy that persists despite our aims.
As a continuation of my studies of this life and interaction I have brought the natural into my home. At first, in an effort to study and classify the natural elements, I would pin them, slice into them and present them in their now 'understandable' forms. Now, although still at the hand of an obsessive, intricate mind, the natural objects are subject to less manipulation. Retaining their individual form and shape, the objects now seem to have adjusted to this new environment and have resumed their own lives. These resulting natural constructions are a combination of elements. They are the imagination locked deep in daydream. They are a yearning for raw matter, for a sense of discovery. They are an investigation of life, and a reflection on death.