My work looks at the spaces in-between – at the spaces where objective and subjective experiences converge. I am drawn to moments in time that are still evolving but resist closure, to places and relationships between the public and the private, and to patterns of repetition within nature.
"These nameless places awaken a desire to be lost, to be far away a desire for that melancholy wonder that is the blue of distance."
- Rebecca Solnit, "The Blue of Distance," from A Field Guide to Getting Lost
I have always been moved by the places at the edge, landscapes with open spaces and distant horizons, places (imagined & real) in the far away. These desolate, sparse landscapes leave the spirit open to wonder and wander, to desire, to solitude and melancholy. I traveled to the edge of lands to photograph what can be seen, looking out into the horizon of the sea or out to the distant mountains shrouded in clouds and at times noticing the foreground in-between. I looked from these edges to find a sense of quiet and to become lost in the far away.
In 2010 I found myself going through several life changes. I left a city where I had lived for over 10 years, and with that leaving behind deep friendships and deep history, to move to a new place and begin a new life with someone who was at once my past and now my present.
I turned the camera inward, photographing my partner and myself as we were and were in reflection. The photographs, though not outwardly staged, are not meant to document our lives together but are rather vignettes in time, hazy with temporality and memory. What gestures are repeated? Does my conscious memory differ from the time stamp of these photographs? At once a visual diary, these transitory moments are a map of points in the intangible landscape of memory.
I made this series of work on several visits to the basement jellyfish display at the New England Aquarium in Boston. As a long-time fan of the drawings by Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) of oceanic art forms, I was fascinated by, what on first glance looked to be, the millions of stars floating in a tank of salt water – a tank featuring an attached magnifying glass. On further investigation, I realized I was looking at a tank of Aurelia Aurita (the scientific name for moon jellyfish) in the polyp stage of the moon jellyfish lifecycle.
From the New England Aquarium exhibit’s blog dated 3/16/15, we read: “Polyps are the benthic (ground-associated) stage of the jelly life cycle. Jelly polyps resemble the adult form of their relatives, sea anemones, in that they possess a point of attachment to a hard surface, and a crown of tentacles at the opposite end. Polyps can survive months or even years, by using their tentacles to capture small prey from the water column.”
Intrigued by the patterns of polyp constellations that appeared before me, I photographed these polyps through the glass of the tank and then also through the magnifying glass. This series hopefully gives permission to the viewer to look more intently: to observe differences and similarities by reimagining the experience of looking through a microscope or telescope at the repeated art forms in nature.
unbeing: the state of non-being; non-existence; not being or existing.
I started this work at a point in my life where I often found myself alone in my studio apartment. In the beginning, I was not entirely sure what I was looking to achieve or what might present itself, but there was an intensity with which these photographs were made. Within the four walls of my old apartment, hazy afternoon sunlight drifting in through the windows and view camera on point, I began to wonder how the light would reflect upon my movements and gestures. I made a conscious decision to wear white, to better reflect and illuminate my figure. I would at times delicately shift and other times, the movements were forceful, as if I was disappearing into the blur. If the gestures were fast and vigorous, would there still be light within the dark? Would the outline of my figure be left or would I completely disappear into the ether. I was embodying that space between consciousness and sub-consciousness, between being and unbeing – where the edges of attention begin to fall away and what is left is an emotional response or feeling.