The Waterfall Series
The Waterfall Series I took in conjunction with a series of abstract pinhole photographs called “Light Meditations.” The waterfall images were a traditional complement to “Meditations”. They were taken with a pinhole 4X5 camera and Polaroid 55 film. The latter gave me a positive and a negative. I then created silver gelatin prints in the darkroom.
I initially took “classic” waterfall pictures but I found myself leaning toward the abstract as was my other series at the time. I delighted in form and shape and the refreshing nature of water misting on my camera.
The photographs were taken in Colorado, Rockford, IL the Chicago BotanicalGardens, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
I began collecting shells several years ago. At the time I had not thought of doing a series of photographs of them. However, recently, I understood that I was drawn to their translucent light as had been the case with my pinhole series in the past. As I held many of them, their subterranean beauty captivated me. I wanted to study them close up. I made numerous circular pinhole cameras from cylinder boxes with focal lengths from ¾" to 3½". My exposures ranged from 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on whether I was
shooting indoors or outdoors. I employed many lights while shooting indoors: flashlights, handheld strobe units, and studio lamps.
The Adventures of the Thin Man: a travel book
The Adventures of the Thin Man developed as a series of pinhole photographs after I had moved into a house in the Chicago suburbs. I had been working with organized sets for my camera prior to this. The "thin man" is a small ear cup which was a souvenir from living in Chicago.
I found myself using the "Thin Man" as a character in my work at home but also in response to trips to: London, Paris, California, and New York. My sets were conceived from artifacts on location as well as my emotional response to them through the "Thin Man."
His encounters range from whimical to bittersweet; his adventures from romance to fantasy. Floral motifs populate his world as do a sense of place and a variety of human entanglements. The photographs were taken with varieties of pinhole cameras including a 4x5 wooden camera and a matchbox camera. The images were printed as silver gelatins and hand colored with oil. Several images were created as direct scans on the computer.
Shall We Dance? Polaroid Transfers
Shall We Dance? began as an exercise while learning how to do a traditional Polaroid Transfer. I learned by experience that black was the most difficult color to transfer while light colors were relatively easy.
After learning the process, I decided to use black velvet as a background and white, lint free gloves as the subject. To make it more expressive, I used painted false fingernails to animate the gloves in a pantomime/dance performance. What happened in the process was perfecting a clean black "pull off" from the transfer. But more intriguing was the theme of dance encounters, gestures and a theatre employing lint free gloves as the performers. My projects in the past had had lyrical moments such as a series of Pinhole Performance images I called: Dancing with the Sun. Unconsciously, I had chosen a similar theme for this Polaroid Transfer series: Shall We Dance? In perspective, my art informs me of my nature.
The Yukon Series
The Yukon series combined my interest in pinhole photography and scanograms with digital technology and demonstrated that such disparate technologies can in fact share the same space of artistic expression. The meditative effects and implied imagery are impressions made as light pinged off reflective surfaces. I floated sheets of stainless steel over a flatbed scanner to reflect its colored light, creating a one-time only landscape for the pinhole image. I then layered the imagery with natural objects and oriental papers. I housed my intimate landscapes in handmade paper boxes.
Essentially Light Meditations is about light and the landscape. The images revolve around a circular motif. Some of the pinhole images were taken on a lazy susan tray and spun with the 4x5 camera straight up at the sun-my version serendipitously of As the World Turns.
The images were part of a solo exhibit in which I had an idea of the "feel" for the show--soft and otherworldly. I was not interested in conceptual work or work of social relevance. I am a advocate of the chance element which Louis Pasteur and John Cage espoused. I believe that if I throw the coins up in the air and let them fall where they may, I accept Nature's participation in the artistic performance.
Women I've Known
Women I've Known is a continuing series of photographs the first of which was presented in small book format. At that time they were seminal images for a multiple projection project. However, on reflection, I realized they had an integrity of their own. They were presented loosely as personal narrative but more precisely as ruminations on the domestic scene.
This current group of photographs represent portraits by evidence. These are a sampling from a self-published book: Women I've Known.
The work is generated by my collecting artifacts which have an emotional attachment for me plus objects I create in a variety of media. Game pieces frequently became a natural equivalent for personal unresolved polarities. These come together during a moment of recognition by a "Woman I Know."
Through the Pinhole
My early pinhole photography was a means of getting in touch with myself . I used the patio for taking the images. It was the stage for my personal dramas and the yard a jungle which had grown up around me over years I was occupied raising a family.
The pinhole cameras I used to take the pictures were a hatbox and a bathroom hamper; both were laden with domestic memories. The use of a pinhole camera was a 19th century manner of shooting. The simplicity of its means--no lens and no film but sunlight poring through a tiny opening in a piece of copper spread out the memories of years over a paper negative cinching content and means.
The pinhole also gave vent to a personal preoccupation with playfulness, exploration and risk taking.
Pinhole Florals is a body of work in which I have explored using a pinhole optic on a digital camera. My work employs creative lighting techniques, and multiple and long exposures.
As I have progressed with this project, I have explored the flower in a variety of contexts which frequently are surreal.
As I continue, I hope floral photography (which can be mundane) will be expressive of my own sensibility.