We all have our own perceptions and perspectives of the world around us. They have been created over our lifetimes by events and experiences and will inevitably influence how we perceive and evaluate art. I want to challenge the way people perceive the world around them, to offer viewers a different perspective of the subjects I photograph.
The Forgotten is a documentary series of abandoned, decaying buildings, intended to shift the viewer’s focus to the discarded objects and crumbling details they often overlook. Few people will enter these buildings or see what’s been left behind: the single desk in an empty classroom, the basketball sitting alone on a ravaged court, the charred hymnal in the ruins of a burned-out church. This series is a way to bring these objects back into view, to be remembered in a new way.
The Body Project explored different aspects of the human body, coupled with experiments in lighting techniques. I am not sure where my fascination with the human form started, but over the years it has become a matter of respect and reverence. I photographed shape, age, strength, weakness, and motion, all while lighting each unique set differently in order to create diverse representations of the body. With some subjects I experimented with lighting to emphasize the natural curvature of the human form, while I posed others to exaggerate what was already there.
Another thing that unifies my bodies of work is the continuous study of contrast in light and shadow. The quality of light and the way it is captured characterizes an image and has the ability to transform the everyday. I have examined different effects of lighting through natural lighting and staged lighting. Lighting deeply impacts the viewer’s perception of a work by creating or controlling the overall emotion of an image.
The viewer’s approval of my work, although valued, is not my primary concern. It is more meaningful to me if it promotes intelligent conversation. It is my hope that these new perceptions will stir and evoke emotional responses while provoking more in-depth thought on the subject matter, inviting the viewers to engage both the art and each other.