For me, and I would wager for most photographic artists, photographs evoke memories. In the moment after they are captured, they change. The person smiles, the bird lands, the artist moves to a different angle, the sun comes out. Anytime I look at an image I made I can feel the sharp wind on my exposed skin, or smell the wet char from a landscape that burned months ago, hear the woman’s laughter, taste the orange marmalade made by my friend the summer before. (It can make editing difficult, especially in the days just after a shoot.)
My photographs don’t create these moments for anyone else, and I don’t expect you to join me and my nostalgia, but I do hope that by recording moments that pass as soon as they are captured we can have a shared experience that is different than, larger than, my memory alone.
For the past six weeks, I've been shooting for an exhibition and book Small Talk Collective is putting together (funded by a RACC grant!) and thinking a lot about what remains, what impressions we leave on the earth, and the impressions images leave on us. As a group, we decided to explore a prompt based on the Tibetan word shul: "a mark that remains after that which made it has passed by" or "an impression of something that used to be there."
For me, this describes photography as a whole. I was seized by so many different ideas that I had no clue what I actually wanted to make. I was also shooting in both Mexico and the US, which doesn't usually make for a very consistent aesthetic.
It took going back to my childhood home and walking in the woods with my dad to see what I needed to make and where my work is going next.
Please join Small Talk for our gallery opening and book release at Pushdot Studio in Portland on First Friday, April 6th from 6-8pm! It's Portland Photo Month and we're excited to be part of it all. You can get philosophical about the fleeting nature of photographs/memory or just have a drink and see what my ladies have been up to.