Studies of Women

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Momma died unexpectedly, and we had been distant. I found a list by her bed of books that she had checked out from the library, each with a note next to it…”good,” “recommend,“ “return,” “ok.” The way I handled my grief and regret was to begin reading those books, turning the pages to feel her presence, close in a way that had not been possible when she was here.

When I realized that I was becoming distant from my own daughter, I did not want to have the same regrets. I began a project that involved taking photographs of her, and using photographs of places I have been and things I have seen as a historical reference for my daughter, the way my mother’s books were for me.

I used layers and bits of images combined from these two sources, and they floated together magically, much as our memories are formed. Each image had a different subtext and meaning, depending on the pieces combined, but each relied on our mutual geography, and the topography of our relationship.

These images began as an intimate study of the relationship between my daughter and me. As we continued our work together, universal themes and imagery of shared struggles and conflicting expectations of young women developed, and became personal narratives that we found were shared not only by us, but also collectively by a majority of women.

My work is driven and informed by my realizations and recognition that time and memory are precious commodities. The look of the body of work, “Studies of Women,” is influenced by my visual arts background and interests, which include degrees in Art History, with a particular interest in the era of the Pictorialists.

These images are all Platinum Palladium prints or Palladium over pigment prints, in restricted editions. I have found that the tactile application of the metal salts on the rich surface of the substrate paper, along with the careful exposure and thoughtful processing is a rewarding way for me to work. The surface beauty and tonal range cannot be attained with silver gelatin or digital printing.