I was staring at an opened pomegranate. The plump seeds were bursting with a red I'd never appreciated before. Both delicate and powerful. But when I tried to photograph it, the images were flat, far from vibrant. So, anxious to capture the color and texture, I put the pomegranate on my scanner. Would this be like a digital contact print? And so my journey began.
I am a photographer. I work with a scanner. And to answer the preceding question, yes and no. A scanner delivers startling detail like a contact print, but with a characteristically narrow depth of field. Objects change once they are scanned. Their three-dimensionality is transformed in a way that inspires me to see them as dynamic compositional elements. In this form, they are easily manipulated to become building blocks. The final image is constructed of up to 15 layers to make a unique whole.
This series is an exploration of texture and density. It features flowers from my home and garden depicted in an unreal environment. As I create the image, I work to amplify the movement suggested by the shape of the individual cuttings, drawing the viewer into the image without the benefit of gravity or context. Like an abstract painting, the elements are arranged in the frame, referring only to each other. Ordinary flowers shown larger than life bring the tactile nature of each leaf and petal to the forefront. Depth, often non-literal, is created through the variations in transparency and dissolution of focus. The resulting image is a composition inspired by, but not limited to, the original flower.
My professional life as an artist did not begin as a photographer. For over 35 years I have been a professional harpist, devoted to contemporary classical and avant garde music. I have had the good fortune to work with some of the great icons of our time including John Cage and Eliot Carter, as well as leading voices of my own generation such as the Academy Award winning Richard Einhorn and this year's MacArthur Fellow Julia Wolfe. If I see a common thread, it would be the deep identification I feel with delicate beauty combined with the need to express myself within the context of today. Finding a place for the sound of a harp in a world where we watch wars on TV and can be awakened by garbage trucks is not unlike taking the beauty of a flower and reinterpreting it in a digital environment.