Ah, there’s nothing better than an art world pun. Except maybe shells and cheese. Things have been brewing in my studio! I’m better than half way through a new body of work that I’m so excited about I can hardly stand it. This work has been years in the making, and has really changed the way I think, and how I approach making photographs. You may remember a while back I created an entire room wrapped in one-inch strips of white muslin fabric, covered two chairs, a table, and filled the floor with white volcanic ash. It took the better part of 6 months to create, all for one, singular photograph. That process transformed me. I’ve fallen in love with immersive space, working with my hands, evident labor, and creating full-scale objects for my photographs. I’ve been thinking a lot about materials, and how they may translate symbolically. For this work, I’m using a lot of wool, clay, water, ash, salt, linen, wood, and wax; all materials that are repeatedly Biblically referenced, and are laden with meaning. In this new work, I’m creating sculptural burdens which are worn by people in my final photographs, representing our human relationship to pain and heaviness, and ultimately what it feels like to finally lay it down.
I listen to bluegrass music when I work. The repeated themes of Crossing the River Jordan, laying down our heavy burdens, and rejoicing in the promised land are infused into this work. The photographs are images of people in various stages of labor and rest.
Revelation 21:4: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I have rented a house in Albuquerque for this work. I think of it as a sacred resting place, or portal. I am creating objects in my studio, then bringing them to the house to photograph with human models. The final work is photographs, all of this reduced into a small, two dimensional image. The opening exhibition of the work will take place in the house in October. I’ll post lots more about all of this soon, I can’t spill all the beans just yet!
I’m not ready to show final photographs just now, but I thought it might be fun to show some snapshots of objects in progress in the studio. Mostly, these are just captured with the mighty iPhone, but are nice documents of what’s going on in my heart, my head, and my studio. There are snappies of sculptures in progress, the studio, and the empty house.
Okay, and the first image is one finished photograph. Just one. :)