Looking again at photos

My mentor asked me to look at all of the work I made last semester, so I pulled it all out, including the micro photos I had taken in Canada, which I had all but dismissed. She said I would be able to find the thread in all of my work, though I did not see it.

She was right. Though the paintings, such as Maniac and Tell Me the Last Thing you Remember, are easy for me to find similarities between, the photos yielded the same esthetic, though presented in a different way. The paintings are captured events, with light and dark, blurry edges, pieces missing, and a focus on precious moments.

The photos are too, and more so capture the details lacking in the larger pieces. By details, I mean the broader details of what matters to me: I mean the event of loss. My mentor asked me what was the most important thing I sought to convey in my work, and I answered carefully: amazement, and loss. One cannot exist (at least for me) without the other. When I look at these images of small details, capturing a smaller world that exists all around us at any given moment, but a world that we miss, I am amazed. I am amazed that this little bird died right before we walked into the room and I positioned its still-warm body so I could photograph the eye. It was an eye that was seeing just moments before. The spirituality behind that last sentence should be understood. By zooming in on the eye, or the feather, or the claw…I am pausing, I am pointing to this and saying “This mattered. It all matters.”

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