Gathering Remnants; Repairing a Broken Story
Feeling overwhelmed by dramatic events taking place in my life, I decided not to leave my home and to stay in the safety and gentleness of my cabin in the woods at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. I was going through a rough time and turned to my work to pull me through. I have always been a hard worker, but I had never before approached my work as a refuge. During that time, I kept myself engaged in the beauty of my well-established and sacred studio practice, and that had a calming effect where the ugliness outside could not reach me. Looking at my subjects through the boundary of the picture frame served as a metaphor for what Seymour Bernstein, the great classical pianist, calls a “protected area”. Within the safety of that measured area, these pictures came about. And through that picture frame, I could see the problems I was experiencing in my own life with a better perspective. I photographed the objects that I live with, many of them old, (remnants, chipped cups, old glass), because I like things from the past and marvel at their imperfections and ability to survive. My state of fragility allowed for a greater sensitivity to beauty and detail, giving these delicate objects gravity. As those events have passed, I continue to work on this project, less now in relationship to that vulnerable time, but rather out of interest in the meanings and possibilities of being a still life photographer. Sometimes when an artist works wholeheartedly while under duress and manages to stay focused, the situation causing the stress pushes the artist into a deep place within him or herself. This is what happened to me with this work and I was uplifted by the resulting creation.