My interest in photography ranges from the traditional documentary work to photo art and digital manipulation. After having spent decades using darkrooms to obtain my prints, I now take great joy and delight in the opportunities the digital darkroom provides. Most enjoyably of all, it gives me the opportunity to re-examine many of my prints and negatives, and re-conceptualize them.
Even when doing traditional documentary work, I am never totally satisfied that my images deal with the whole range of facts and emotions that are part of a particular project. So, I find it refreshing that I can digitally infuse my work with the emotion and meaning that sometimes escapes the black and white negatives with which I work.
Working digitally also frees me from the dark and isolated environment of the traditional darkroom. It allows me to work with a cup of tea by my side, and take breaks without having to worry about ruining chemistry or my prints.
Most of the work represented here flows from my personal experience as filter through literature or philosophy. My “Every Angel is Terrifying….” portfolio deals with the sadness and grief that comes from losing youth and beauty to illness and death. The poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke served as a touchstone for me while attempting to come to some kind of emotional understanding of that phase of life. From the “Every Angel…” series flowed the “Tarnished Mirror” suite, which very much deals with the same subject.
I gained additional insight into how tenuous our existence is by reading Leonard Koren’s book “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers." The wabi-sabi concept of the beauty of the imperfect particularly resonated with me, and my whole attitude towards photographing and printing changed after reading the book. I had already ventured towards making imperfect prints and cherishing their imperfection. Now the philosophy of wabi-sabi ‘gave me permission’ to do so with abandon. I began to celebrate such wabit-sabi characteristics as the ‘one-of-a kindness’ of objects [my prints] versus the concept of having to produce a multitude of identical copies. The stressing of the organic over ‘definite shapes and edges’ gave me ‘permission’ to treat each print as a unique object, with irregular or even torn edges. Most significantly for me was the concept that things [my life, my art, etc] are “either devolving towards or evolving from, nothingness.