Reflections: Meditations on Dancing with Mystery

I am fascinated by reflections—through windows, mirrors, water, spoons.  Their light, beauty, and mystery tell us something important about the nature of our experience.  The camera’s lens has a specific and limited point of reference, framing snippets of the infinite as though they were finite.  Just so, our minds compose reality out of discrete bits of momentary data refracted through our personal narratives.  


As an army brat, I grew up all over the western hemisphere.  In addition to most regions of the United States, we often landed in hotspots—in postwar Germany and the Panamá Riots several years after the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, in which my father apparently participated.  I observed that while cultures differ radically, people are pretty much the same everywhere.  That societies, communities, organizations, families hold a shared narrative which—for good or ill—dictates norms and behavior.   This realization led to a lifelong exploration of how we decide who we are, considering how we construct personal identity and—as important—who we includes and excludes.  Through study of Eastern and Western philosophy and psychology, spiritual traditions, neuroscience, personality, and group behavior I keep asking How do we construct our reality?  


Making art is a visual form of the same question.   Art is meditation and a route to clarity.  I don’t sit still very well, and art is one of the principal ways to settle down.   To see things I wouldn’t otherwise see, take time to watch the light change, and get to know this leaf, this window, this moment.


These photographs, taken over many years, consider the ephemeral beauty and sometimes misdirection of an instant through the perspective of a particular lens.  


As counterpoint, these prints and mixed media pieces refer more to the deconstructed elements that combine together to create an image.  When we remember they are never fixed and solid, but recall their shifting nature to hold them lightly and playfully, we join them in a dance.  


I’m interested in the intersection between the immediacy and technical requirements of photography and the tactile satisfaction of working with print materials, which can be just about anything.  And both have an element of letting go into what happens.  I have been experimenting with methods to incorporate my photographs into printmaking, from Solarplates to chemical transfers to treated papers.  The rest is assembling elements for the press that complete the theme established by the photograph.