Delicate Moments

Oh my. It has been quite a while since I last typed in this space. My own photography has more or less gone on the back burner for quite a few months (okay, longer than that even), as I've been almost entirely focused on my full time job. However, as of late the fire has been stoked, and I've found a renewed desire to work on my own images. Part of the itch to create again means that sharing must also happen, as I believe that work shouldn't exist in the vacuum that is my computer. 

So, without further ado, just a handful of images that have been sitting around in that vacuum for almost a year. These images are focused on small spaces; things that create little moments of intrigue for me. Simple, straightforward, and not necessarily all that special. But, these are the subjects that attracted me to photography in the first place, and are the ones that I come back to over and over again. 

Flashback Friday: Driveway Creations

How far into the past does something have to be to be considered a flashback? It has been just shy of two months since I had my last day as a nanny in Manhattan, KS, and I still think of that family often. It seemed appropriate then, that this post be dubbed the next "Flashback Friday" post. 

I absolutely adored the creativity and imagination these kids have. I would generally have a rough idea for a craft or game, but they always managed to turn it into their own thing. I loved sitting back, and watching them come up with their elaborate games and scenarios. 

Unfortunately, these are the last images I have from my summer with these amazing kiddos. It was an incredible summer before moving on to this new adventure I am on, and I will forever be glad I was able to spend that time with them.

Next up, more mountains! My first weekend in Colorado was spent on a grand adventure with my best friend and her puppy, and I cannot wait to share those images. Check back soon!

St. Croix Garden Tour

A few weekends ago I drove up to Minnesota to surprise my mom for her birthday weekend. The surprise was a big success (the look on her face was priceless), and it ended up being a perfect, albeit short, weekend with my family. That Sunday, her actual birthday, we went on the St. Croix Garden Tour. My family generally goes every year, though it has been a while since I was able to join. We saw some beautiful gardens, and it was fun seeing my nephew enjoying it all as well.

This first garden was my favorite from the tour. It was located on a plot of land that used to be a dairy farm, and had massive gardens that sprawled through the woods, and included a perfect little creek, the old dairy barns, and a tennis court tucked in the back. It was stunningly beautiful. 

The gardens after that were a bit smaller, but each had their own charm. My family got lots of ideas for their own gardens from the tour, and I kept on dreaming about the home I will have someday. 

New posts over the next few weeks may be a bit sporadic, as I get ready to help Scott move to Colorado next week, and then move myself a few weeks after that. I will try to keep things up here, but if it go quiet, trust that I will get caught up again after I am settled in somewhat. 

Spring Break (Day 4)

Our final day in Colorado was spent on rock. We climbed most of the day, soaking up the sunshine and our last of the mountain air for a bit. 

The morning started out a bit brisk, as the cliffs around us blocked the sun for quite a while. Despite the lack of sun in the morning, the area we were in all day (The Pool Wall, Alcove Area) offered some really nice, mostly easy climbing. It was a great place to just hunker down and set up camp for the day as we worked our way through some routes. 

Eventually the sun did creep down into our little area, and quickly warmed us up. For the rest of the day we were climbing in t-shirts, which was a bit unexpected for March. It was a welcome treat though, especially on our last day. However, it did make leaving that much more difficult.

Scott was able to go into teacher mode that afternoon (something he is extremely good at), and taught both the other guys some new tricks/techniques. As usual with climbing, I think everyone came away with something new learned, either a skill or just something about themselves (as in my case). That is one of the things about climbing that I absolutely love; every time I climb I learn something. It may not be something monumental or significantly life changing, but I almost always walk away at the end of the day with a fresh perspective on something. 

This post officially wraps up the spring break series for now, unfortunately (at least unfortunately for me). I still have film I need to send off and develop/scan, so more images may be coming down the road. But, for the time being, there will be no more beautiful mountains featured here on my blog. I do have some projects in the works (or at least planned), so be sure to check back soon to see what I'm up to!

The Cost of Forgetting (MFA Thesis Show)

I finally have managed to edit the images from my MFA thesis show, and I am so excited to share them. I was going to wait until Monday (my normal posting day), but I decided I just couldn't wait. 

I had been working towards this show since I started grad school essentially, and it was amazing to actually have my work filling the gallery. Everything turned out better than what I had envisioned even, which was exciting to see. The day that I went to document the installation was perfectly sunny, making things even more beautiful. The miniature pieces hanging from the ceiling were my favorite part of the installation by far. The way that they caught the light and gently swayed was mesmerizing. They even projected little versions onto the floors and walls when the light was right, and bounced streams of light on the walls next to it. I could have sat there watching for a while and been extremely content. The hanging pieces were also intended to be taken by viewers (another reason why it was my favorite part), and so by the end of the reception only red strings were left hanging from the ceiling (as you will see in the last few images of this post). It ended up being perfectly timed, and I loved being there to see the last one pulled down by a friend. 

The work is entirely centered on memory, or more specifically, memory loss. It serves as a visual for memory loss in general, but specifically the inability to remember the mundane, uneventful moments (my artist statement is at the end of this post for those who would like to read that). It was interesting to hear quite a few people tell me that the work made them sad, and prompted them think about all the things they wish they could remember. That said, I would love to hear more reactions to the work. I'm sure reactions to photographs of the installation will be different, but it would interest me to hear them.

Some quick technical information before I leave you with the images. The photographs are multiple exposures (done in camera) of monotone still life scenes, which are printed on transparencies. They were cut into circles using a laser cutter and then mounted to plexiglass. The wall pieces are for sale, so if anyone is interested in purchasing one (or more) please email me for details. 

Artist Statement

            Maurice Halbwachs explains that the constancy of the everyday provides us with the stability required to create memories, and that mental illness is often a result of a disconnection from objects of the everyday. On the other hand, Ollivier Dyens notes that memory is a “matrix” and describes it as “a moving, unstable and ephemeral language.” Our memories are constantly shifting and changing, making it hard to grasp at times. And yet, the ability to form memories is a result of the opposite.  This body of work stems from the juxtaposition between the necessary stability to form memories and the “ephemeral language” that is memory.

            The still life scenes that I photograph focus on the mundane objects that we encounter every day in order to point to their impact on memory. However, the objects are painted to remove some of their familiarity. Multiple exposures are used to suggest the confusion that results from failing memory, as well as the passing of time. The resulting images are unstable and confusing, suggesting that something is in the process of being lost.  

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