ABOUT THE ARTIST
I have always enjoyed photography, starting with my first camera in first grade. Workshops with Ansel Adams in the 1970s deepened my passion but I stayed with my academic career and did photography as a hobby. Now in retirement, I can pursue my dream of immersing myself in photography. In the midst of numbing grief following the death of my life partner Rita in 2009, I found joy, respite, and hope in bright colors and abstract forms. Grief quieted as I explored possibilities, turning images into often-mysterious variations on reality. I happily now have the time and energy to seriously explore where I can take photography, and where it can take me.
To download a PDF of my resume, click here.
ABOUT THE WORK
My current photographic work is digital, focused on abstract designs, altered colors, textures, and often trees. I transform my own photographs, sometimes rendering the originals unrecognizable. The finished images often look more like paintings than photographs, with unique layering and texturing. Frequently I shoot with future transformations in mind, although I often simply experiment. I tend to focus on details such as peeling paint, a single window, or the texture on a building's wall.
MEMORY and JUSTICE PROJECT
Impressions of Disappearance and Torture: The former Navy Mechanics School in Buenos Aires
These images are my artistic response to a deeply haunting place and the terrifying memories it holds. The former Escuela de Mecanica de la Armada (aka ex ESMA) is the site of the most notorious clandestine detention center during the last Argentinian dictatorship (1976-1983). An estimated 5,000 people were processed through this former school for navy mechanics. Only about 200 detainees emerged alive; the rest are counted among the 30,000 disappeared.
The ex ESMA campus is a mix of horror and justice. In 2004 it was declared a Memory and Human Rights Space and human rights organizations now have displays and archives in 15 buildings. Educational placards line the roadways offering stories about the disappeared and historical information about the dictatorship and the justice that followed. There is a wonderful bookstore, a café, galleries, and performance spaces. There are many trees and fascinating textures, accompanied by the unsettling screeching of hundreds of parrots and the disheveled aspects of many buildings. I wander the site, trying to make sense of what happened. I despair at the fact that humans connected to this place stole newborns from the arms of their mothers and pushed people alive from cargo planes into the river and the sea. I marvel at the fact that anyone emerged alive. And I rejoice at the fact that many of the children born there and placed in illegal adoptions have been located and now know their real identities.
All of the images in this new series contain some combination of trees, textures, objects, and structures from the grounds of the ex ESMA.
All profit from sale of these images will be donated to The Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, an organization dedicated to locating the estimated 500 children stolen during the dictatorship. They have thus far located 128 of the children. To learn more or to donate directly: www.abuelas.org.ar
Here is an example of the elements that comprise one of the images, accompanied by the finished version: