Macro Photography Artists Statement
I photograph insects throughout my immediate environment, specifically focusing on the variety of bees that populate my backyard, my studio, and local gardens. I have always been a gardener, and dealing with insects holds a certain fascination for me. My interest in native bees has propelled me to learn more about the current plight of these creatures and to attempt to document as many as possible. Using my own yard as a starting point, I observe and record portraits of the bees, familiarizing myself with their behaviors and patterns. I try to portray these insects in a way that will inspire viewers to look more closely at the tiny world around us, and hopefully appreciate the beauty and importance of all insects. For me, capturing intimate portraits of bees and other insects is both an art project bringing important issues to light, and a meditative practice that allows me to slow down and connect with the natural world.
To capture my insect portraits, I use a handheld camera rig with a customized macro flash, and photograph the insects in a single, uncropped frame. This setup allows me to move about freely and capture my subjects as they are in the environment. I have modeled my lighting setup around those used by portrait photographers, to reproduce the same quality of lighting on a macro scale, although unlike traditional portrait photography my camera lens is only a few inches away from my subjects. My rig also allows me to have a lighter impact on my surrounding environment, as my main credo is to do no harm to my subjects or environment to obtain the shot.
Shadowbox Artists Statement
My woodworking,digital photography and computer manipulation combine elegantly to make a language of visual poetry, turning a functional box into a pseudo three dimensional window that allows the viewer to re-live memories that I have selected for them.
Each handmade wooden box holds multiple layers of acetate and is meant to invite the viewer deeper and deeper into the box to experience these memory fragments as an active meditation. The memory fragments start with the hundreds of photos the artist takes while traveling and experiencing life. After that, the images are carefully selected, adjusted and separated in photoshop. They are toner printed on multiple layers of transparent acetate or glass and custom fitted into the handmade wooden box.
Each layer contributes in creating a sense of depth and represents a moment in time. The piece is simultaneously a memory, created from the artist’s own experience, and a reflection, constantly reacting to the environment it is in. As the light changes in the environment, it also changes in the piece. So the experience of the viewer changes with each encounter with the piece.
My exploration of culture, landscape, and science are highly personal, even spiritual. My goal is to draw the viewer into the moments I hold precious by deconstructing imagery, only to meticulously reconstruct it including all of the minute details, and thereby control the viewer’s attention by defining and sometimes adding details that would go unnoticed without intervention.