For the past couple of years I have been creating images exploring the random ways farmers arrange or dn't arrange bales of hay in the fields near my farm in upstate New York. I love the interplay of sky, shape, shadows and color. The first of these photographs to be included in a gallery show is a panoramic image called County Route 22. The show is titled "Rural Impressions" and willl be at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art from September 23 - October 7, 2013. The opening will be on Thursday, September 26 from 6-8pm. Hope you can stop by! (The image is on the website of Professional Women Photographers, www.pwponline.org, within my gallery.)
I began a new project during the summer of 2011 - a collaboration with my friend Esther Leeming Tuttle, better known as Faity. Faity was an actress in her 20's, appearing on Broadway with Humphrey Bogart, among others. In her middle years she was happily married, raised three children and headed up groups such as the NY Chapter of Girl Scouts of America and the Friends of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. When she was in her 80's and a widow, she worked with an acting coach and auditioned and won jobs in many print and TV commercials. In her 90's she wrote a memoir titled "No Rocking Chair for Me." Faity currently divides her time between an elegant New York apartment and a historic farmhouse in upstate New York. Her joie de vivre is contagious. The images in this new gallery are the beginning of an ongoing documentary study of Faity Tuttle in her 100th year shot with medium format black and white film (printed as silver prints in the darkroom) and with color digital processes. Since the photographs include images that document the context of Faity's life as well as images of her going about her daily life, I have also made audio recordings of Faity talking about theses things (e.g.the old water pump on the porch of the farmhouse).
My color botanical portfolio is titled BEAUTY IN CONTEXT. I photographed color for the first time in years to explore a fantastic array of unusual plants - including water lilies, lotuses, pitcher plants, gloriosa lilies, passion flowers - with which my husband Robert Peduzzi is experimenting on our farm in Kinderhook, NY. I shoot with a medium format studio camera, scan the film, and print the images digitally on beautiful Hahnemuhle fine art paper. I love the way the rich colors sink into the elegant surface of the paper. These images are printed in two editions of 50; sized 11" x 14" and 16" x 20."
In May this work will be back at Art & Chocolate, a terrific small gallery in Lenox, MA offering fine art and imported chocolate. i will also be showing some of my earlier portfolios. Lenox is a delightful town and the gallery, at 4 Housatonic Street, is in a terrific location. Stop by and say hello to owner Diana Bartlett. A few of the framed images can also be seen (and bought!) at Hedstrom & Judd, a beautiful store filled with well-chosen decorative and botanical objects, 401 Warren Street, Hudson, NY.
PORTRAITS FROM THE GARDEN: AN UNCOMMON VIEW is an intimate exploration of the world within my own garden. These tiny segments of nature express beauty of form and movement, strangeness of shape and juxtaposition. They are portraits of buds not yet flowered, mushrooms underfoot, flowers past their prime, insects that are beautiful and strange, each taking its place upon a rural stage.
My frame of reference is portraiture. I studied with Philippe Halsman, and the principals he taught guide me in this work. What has remained with me from those sessions are his ironclad rules of technique filtered through his subtle wit. I have also long admired the work of August Sander, who long documented the range of middle class people in his native Westerwald. He created a comprehensive study of the enormous variety of individuals living and working in that region of Germany, highlighting individual occupations, and including references to these factors. My goal is to document the diversity of daily life within the context of my garden, remaining as unobtrusive as possible, and at the same time share the sense of life and death, wonder and wit that I find there.
I have now begun to take this vision to a new level by carefully choosing a small group of images from this project and greatly enlarging them. The first of these images, "Poppy/Marilyn," was presented in the exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in June-August 2006. The large version is 24" x 36." It looks fabulous and presents an entirely different perspective on this tiny portrait, appearing both realisic and surrealistic.
The darkroom images in this portfolio are archivally printed, by me, in editions of 35. Each image is 5 x 7 inches printed on 8 x 10 paper, split toned dark sepia on matte fiber paper, retaining black elements. Signature and number are on the reverse. These are small, powerful velvety images.
In November 2002, I attended a showcase of modern dance choreography in which the work of Isabel Gotzkowsky clearly stood out as beautiful, thought-provoking and athletically challenging for the dancers. When I discussed Gotzkowsky's work with her after the performance, I became curious about the processof choreographing new work. I attended a number of rehearsals, bringing my camera with me.
Photographing dancers in rehearsal is a formidable task. The rehearsal studios used by small dance companies vary from gritty and industrial to modern and coolly efficient. I became fascinated with reflections in mirrors, the intensity of creation, moments of rest. The constant movement and the ever changing lighting conditions made it particularly challenging for me, but I felt lucky to observe and be part of Isabel's artistry and her ability to involve her dancers in this collaborative process.
The first solo exhibit of this work, at Williamsburg Art neXus in October-November 2003, BECOMING DANCE: IMAGES OF A PROCESS, was my impression of that experience. Many of the images from that show are in this web gallery and have since appeared in other solo and group exhibits and publications.
SHAPING A PRESIDENT: SCULPTING FOR THE ROOSEVELT MEMORIAL (from the book of the same name) took shape over a five year period. I documented sculptor Neil Estern as he sculpted maquettes and larger models in clay, enlarged them at Tallix Art Foundry, and supervised bronze casting to create the full-round statues of FDR, Eleanor and Fala for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park in Washington, DC. At each stage of creation, I was struck by the forceful personae emerging out of inert substances. My challenge was to illustrate the unfolding emotional relationship between the sculptor's artistic intensity and the complex personalities of the President and First Lady emerging from armature and clay. I have hundreds of images in both black & white and color from this project. Only a small sample are in this gallery. Please call or send me an email if you would like to see more.