Artist Statement

 

“Over and over, the path to truth is found in the crevasses of the floor, the cracks in the wall, in the disturbed dust.” Stephen Kendrick


“There is nothing so unnatural as the commonplace.” Sherlock Holmes ( Arthur Conan Doyle)


“To pay attention, this is our proper and endless work.” Mary Oliver


The artistic vision that I bring to my work as a photographer is informed by the concepts of moment, meeting, and meaning, words that first became important to me in my teaching career as a University professor, and that have spilled over into my work as a photographer. As photographer, I am interested in paying attention, in moving from the general to the particular, from the large to the small, in closely attending to what is before me as I look to capture a moment: the moment when light and subject meet in time and space, and shape, color, tone, and texture merge in way that is distinctive to that moment. My focus is on capturing that moment and processing it in a way that not only preserves the moment for me but engages the attention of others. In that sense, I am inviting the viewer to share the experience of observing with me, to focus in on the “crack in the wall “or the “crevasse of the floor.” But my artistic intent is more than that. The photograph, if successful, invites and encourages the viewer who has shared the moment with me, to pause and take the time to extract some meaning from the image that goes beyond the literal. As William Blake states poetically, there is potential in that moment “to see the World in a Grain of Sand, and Heaven in a Wild Flower.” The suggestion of meaning may be hinted at when I take the photograph, but it usually emerges with more clarity only after I have fully engaged it in the hard work of processing and printing the image. Whatever meaning has emerged for me is often suggested in the title I choose for the final print, which I see as a final step in the artistic process. My interest is not in wanting the viewer to find the same meaning in the moment that I may have found; the title simply suggests to viewers that there is meaning to be found and serves as a challenge to extract their own meanings. When and if they do that the moment experienced becomes theirs, as well as mine. 

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