Artist Talk at GrayDUCK Gallery

I have a series of images up at GrayDUCK Gallery through Sept 25. The image above is one in the series. Please check out the show- it’s a collection of works from 9 artists that are part of The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group. Tomorrow I’ll be giving an Artist Talk to discuss the work, here is a summary of that talk:

The work in this show is related to impermanence, history & culture, time, and physical space/objects. We are living in the city (and an era) where the culture is changing, in some ways generalizing and cheapening. Strip malls, highways, chain stores, highrises and condos are becoming our new fabric. With these images, I’m hoping to capture some of the culture and intimate physical space that has been part of the fabric of our city over the past half-century.

I am trained as a cinematographer, so I am used to manipulating light and using space to help tell a story. I generally film things with people, yet in my photography I am drawn to the idea of a space speaking for a character, a space being the character.

For this series, I have been seeking out spaces that have a definite, specific human imprint. Usually older spaces work for this, because there has been time for the space and the objects within it to evolve. Some of these spaces are being discarded, or updated- there is something about their impermanence that motivates me.

More formally, I am interested in playing with depth and perspective, and using light to help complement or enhance how I feel about a particular space. I also try to show a space as a place you might want to enter.

Most of the images you see here, the first 3, are fairly flat. As a series, the sections of black link one image to the next. The light is very soft, so though the compositions are fairly formal, the softness makes them more welcoming.

I also try to be playful- I was drawn to the repetition of the flowers in this image, with the fake flowers in front repeated in the curtain fabric behind- the whole thing is artifice. And then the ladies’ room, surrounded by the names of (mostly) men who got a hole in one.

My favorite image is here, the one with the sign that says “Where God Has Placed Baptism.” In this religious space, the ideas of birth and death are colliding- with this strange noose-like rope hanging from the ceiling. It’s a room in decay but the light to me feels almost spiritual.

I started this project before entering Crit Group, after the birth of my son. I was looking for a way to preserve my creativity in the early days of motherhood. Before then, it had been several years since I had taken photographs seriously, and I usually photographed people. Nurturing an infant, I craved the stillness that photographing interiors gave me. Being in Crit Group helped me continue that evolution of working on projects that are personal to me. All of these images were taken while I was in the group.

Check out the press release and featured artists:


Join us to celebrate the opening of our 2016 Crit Group exhibition, The Honesty of Rocks. This group exhibition features work by nine compelling artists who participated in The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group—an eight-month-long program that supports a strong artistic practice through monthly critiques of art and professional development workshops.

GrayDUCK Gallery is located at 2213 E. Cesar Chavez Street in a residential neighborhood. Please be courteous to grayDUCK’s neighbors by parking responsibly and keeping noise down!

The Honesty of Rocks, curated by Sarah C. Bancroft and Andy Campbell, includes work in video, sculpture, photography, painting, installation, and performance.


The Honesty of Rocks is on view at grayDUCK Gallery through September 25, 2016. GrayDUCK Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday 11A-6P, Sunday 12-5P.

Crit Group Artists’ Talk: Saturday, September 17, 2P at grayDUCK Gallery.

Crit Group is facilitated by Andrea Mellard, Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at The Contemporary Austin, with Sarah C. Bancroft and Andy Campbell. Find out more about this program here.

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