Photography, Portraits and Art Teaching
The portraits of children in costume; “Fantastic Dreams; Secret Identities” essential theme is similar to my previous work; “Portraits”; that an integral, essential self is present in childhood and one carries the passions and sensibilities of one’s childhood dreams throughout life. Dressing up in favorite costumes is a serious personal statement of who a child is and wants to be. Children dress up and intensely play out complicated scenarios. They work out profound issues of life, love and morality in their story lines and in some ways are most truly, essentially themselves when costumed in what could be termed their fanciful attire.
The pairing of the early and the later portraits strive to capture a glimmer of the essential self and the fact of its continuity, through the analogy of the continuity of physical appearance. A continuity of self is a phenomenon that follows in life whether one wants it to or not. You can’t avoid who you were anymore than you can avoid who you are. Some of us try to defy or hide ourselves but n the end we are left with how we began; a particular, eccentric, integral sensibility that is indelibly who we are. A self that defies physical aspect, chronological age, time and circumstance. A photographic portrait of a child (even a rephotograph of the that portrait) acts as a map or window to that essential self, a self less consciously guarded and disguised than in later years. Some may say that you can not read much into a photographic portrait beyond superficial qualities of skin, hair, light and bone structure. I believe one can feel emotion and soul in a photograph by appreciating and enjoying each minute physical fact of a face, knowing that the life of the subject and the passage of time (or lack of) has helped to sculpt that face.
The Landscape has always fascinated me as a source of wonder and meditation on the Earth’s natural unadulaterated beauty. I have always had a love of sculpture whether it be natural or man-made. I find trees particularly to have an eternal mystery, strength and the most exquisite three dimensionality. These photographs are a reflection of a life-long contemplation of natural forms.