Talk at “Containment: Art In Isolation”

Laurie says:


I spoke about my Pandemic Shadow photos at a zoom event this past Thursday for the current exhibition, CONTAINMENT: STORIES OF ART IN ISOLATION. All the artists spoke about their work and it was beautifully moderated by Bianca Largo, who curated the exhibition.

Photos are above and below. I thought I’d put up the talk since it’s about my current shadows project, and it’s been absorbing my photography for the last year and a half.

“I’ve been walking & living in the shadow of the pandemic and the lockdown, photographing the Pandemic Shadows that I see everywhere. I started being interested in shadow patterns when I began taking iPhone photos. The pandemic, the isolation, and the walking I’ve been doing, transformed my vision into something far more emotionally involving. It lets me make beauty in hard times. And it allows me to reflect the pandemic in ways that make it the work of these hard and difficult times.

“My work is developing very intensely, in terms of emotion, choices and differences from other images. The California wild fires changed the light and shadow. The people I’ve known in fire danger seem to be influencing the work as well.

“There is also the very strong influence of time on the appearance of the shadows. I immediately noticed placement as part of time of day, but it took longer for me to realize that time of year was also vital. This post-solstice time of year is profoundly different for the images than spring or winter. And again, this is an awareness that changes how I see the world.

“One of the beautiful places shadows can go for me is into abstraction. I grew up with abstract expressionism, and I use it a lot in composition, but my work has not been usually abstract. My two books, Women en Large and Familiar Men, are both respectful nude portraits of real people. My Japanese project Women of Japan is clothed portraits. It’s good for my artist’s heart to go somewhere else. Shadows have become much more prominent in my vision. I’ve noticed that in my usual day, shadows are a much larger part of my normal perception of everything.

“This is the first time I’ve seen myself in my art this way. It’s a shock to have the way I see change so powerfully. The world has changed so much and so quickly and my vision has inevitably followed.”


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