The camera’s aperture is a doorway into my world of possibilities. Each artistic endeavor is built upon the four pillars of my identity. Each pillar bound within its own duality. I have begun the process of recording images for some of these pillars and others remain a work in progress. My 365 Project highlights examples from each area and my intention is to share a deeper experience with my audience with exhibits that focus on each separately and more intensely.
The first pillar joins Family and Ancestry. In each portrait of my family members I have a presence; the viewpoint, the perspective, and the contrast link me. I am a descendent of generations, not only of my family but the embodiment of the legacy of my people. As a photographer I take a chance to reclaim the narrative of my people, too often distorted, usurped, ignored and denied. Photography allows me to be the author of my own story. I become a cartographer of sorts- not merely documenting, utilizing photography to help me navigate my personal and public history.
The second pillar entwines Faith and Spirit. The prophet Jeremiah had faith that in the act of building- we could be rebuilt. With each creative challenge I find myself recreated. Taking in a world of wonder- every image that I encounter is first and foremost God’s image. At times taking pictures is a way to give thanks, a way to explore what it is being asked of me. When I take a picture, I embrace God’s own spirit of creation- where day after day, a new element emerged into the world to make it whole.
The third pillar of my photography embraces Nature and Landscape. Here, with my camera I am unencumbered by life’s daily demands, and hurts: the view of a lake, a waterfall, a spring, or the ocean; restores my hope and belief that “justice will come roaring down in a mighty stream (The Book of Amos).” With each photograph I can conjure up a moment of true peace.
The entanglement of People and Community sustains the fourth pillar. At times a person appears in a cacophony of chaos, at times there are harmonies that binds us one to the other. I point, I click, I take in an image. The camera’s lenses deliver new insights, allowing me to see my Community from a different point of view. I can focus on a gesture, a pattern, a moment in time. I can treasure the details, the daily stories, song, dance and spirit of my Community. I find respite from the troubles and challenges we are so often up against and I can relax, focus, and connect. My photographs of my community take me beyond the everyday fragmentation of our society. I am attuned to the strength of spirit: resilient and resplendent- and in the words of the poet: “the drive to connect the dream of a common language (Adrienne Rich).”
It’s said, “The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail (William Faulkner)”. My photographs are my testimony to all that I witness. These four pillars guide me to my inner self and move me to create the visual structure that I share with you daily.