From living in California for most of my life, I developed sensitivity to the dangers of annual wildfires. After last year’s fires in Sonoma County, I visited Santa Rosa and Sonoma several times to document what remained. I cannot begin to understand the loss I witnessed, or to fully embrace how quickly whole neighborhoods, houses, and lives, so seemingly permanent, can be swept away in an instant. In the face of so much destruction, I was initially paralyzed as to what to photograph. Sitting on the curbs of homes no longer there, with sorrow for people I had never met, I took a closer look at what remained. The abstract images of this series are of the patinas on cars that transpired after the fires raged over them. My intention with this series is to bring beauty back to the communities who experienced this incomprehensible devastation.
The faint grey line surrounding each image emulates the embossing done to the photograph after printing.
“Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming.” Donna Tartt
I see the human form is a living sculpture and landscape. With this series, I use the body to explore beauty through my imagination and lived experience. Viewed through the poetry of light, the female form is unique and mysterious, at times expressing empowerment or vulnerability. These deliberately small, velvety prints emulate the hidden detail and subtle beauty of the mezzotint printing process. The images’ darkness draws the viewer in for deeper consideration oscillating between expectation and revelation.
I began this project as an exploration into my personal feelings about feminine beauty and identity when my daughter asked me if I thought I was pretty. Answering this question was more difficult than I’d expected. In short, my answer was that I felt “perfectly imperfect,” because beauty comes from within. I feel that beauty is more complicated than our physicality, and includes our mental, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social selves as well. This is what I wanted to capture in photographs of women, their inner beauty emerging from their physical body. Even though these are not self-portraits, each image resonates with my life experience at one time or another. The ebbs and flows of womanhood are somewhat universal. Beauty is a personal and private journey for every woman to learn to live in her own skin, letting social expectations fall by the wayside, and allowing her own sense of beauty and individuality to emerge.
With the found objects I photograph, my goal is to encourage viewers to be curious and to observe the bit of mystery in all things, to bring light and life to that which we don’t understand. The ‘TIME PIECE’ series is an example of that ambition. Having collected old watch parts for a number of years, I began to explore their unique beauty in still life images. Breaking out of the assumption that this was all these items had to offer in terms of photography, I began to play with various methods of motion, light and various water effects. This freedom to literally, ‘play’ with these discarded watch parts gave them new meaning and intriguing beauty that one would not normally associate with these inanimate objects.
North Beach-San Francisco, and upper Grant Avenue in particular, has long been known for its offbeat character of artists of many disciplines and the Beat Generation in years past. The intent here was to capture a glimpse of some of the current residents, café goers, artists, artisans, musicians, transients, tourists, shop and gallery owners along this street. Caffé Trieste known to locals as, ‘The Office’ is where they gather each day to share gossip, news, art, poetry, music and valued friendship. It is from this corner café that, GRANT STREET, a visual story of this unconventional community begins.