Rewinding Forward

"Rewinding Forward " is an exploration of an inner story revealed through an outer situation. There needs to be a certain dissonance with an edgy quality in the photographs that I enjoy making. My studio practice is a guide and a way of rewinding forward.  I’m interested in the exploration of psychological states as a way of creating labyrinths between earth and heaven through my camera. The making and rearranging are intertwined in a tug of poetic surrender. If everything is aligned then there’s  the possibility of connection. I’m trying to express a lifeline through a continuum of inquiry and associations. The forward and backward hooks up with earlier experiences as to transform, update and reveal new creative dispensations. This body of work is a dialectic between grief and anger, life and death, hope and mourning. 

Transformation is a bridge with the potential for magic, alchemy and poetry. Poetry is often a spring board in my creative practice. The last stanza in Marianne Moore’s poem “Nevertheless” is a magical example.

“The weak overcomes its
menace, the strong over-
comes itself. What is there
like fortitude! What sap
went through that little thread
to make the cherry red!”

Velvet Cosmos

I’m interested in ornaments and objects that have been generationally or otherwise handed down. My grandmother’s doilies, embroidery and quilts contain a kind of magic theatre of her memory. I’m curious about the translation of these objects and the conjuring they invoke. The doily images images remind me of stars in the night sky or snowflakes. Snowflake Bentley photographed thousand of individual snowflakes. He wrote,“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind." They were reminiscent of mandalas used as visual meditations and place to explore themes of healing and spirituality.

These prints were made using the Malde-Ware method, otherwise known as Print-Out Platinum-Palladium Printing, or the Ammonium Print-out was invented in the 1980s by Pradip Malde and Dr. Mike Ware. The Malde-Ware method is the original ‘print-out’ platinum process of Giuseppe Pizzighelli from 1887.

Painted Photographs

My grandmother raised me. She was born with a large birthmark in the shape of a fish that covered her chin and neck. She referred to it as her purple stain. When I was young she would often tell me the story of how it happened repeatedly throughout my childhood. She told me her mother cut her finger cleaning fish when she was pregnant with her. Her mother put her finger up to her mouth immediately to stop the bleeding and according to my grandmother, “marked her”. Her mother died as a result of my grandmother’s birth several weeks later. Had she explained it any other way I would be a very different person today. I saw it a beautiful pattern imbued with magic not an imperfection. My grandmother suffered though stares and pointing fingers often as I was holding her hand. These kinds of folk stories and explanations were part of my childhood and nurtured my imagination. They held a transformative power as a kind of magical soul medicine.
I begin by scanning tintypes that I started collecting in the late seventies. The printed photograph then becomes a contemplative ground for painting. They are independent of each other physically, historically and on many other levels. The painted photograph essentially is a duet in which two mediums may contribute towards a whole. The integrity of both exists simultaneously in a shared physicality through and on the photographic print. The composition is essentially a duet where both mediums of equal importance. I’m interested in the translation of these found tintypes by reanimating or resuscitating the portrait. I think of the portraits as time travelers while painting late night seances. With the help of technology, the scanned tintypes often lead to new clues perceptually. It provides a field for painting and mark making. Perhaps they’re tarot cards from outer space. It’s my way of re-touching history.

Using Format