October 24 – December 6, 2019
I AM: For the Love of Nature are nude self-portraits composed in the Western U.S. at age 64-65, exploring the solitude and contemplative environment of the unoccupied landscape. Being in the natural environment provided solace for me during and after childhood difficulties. The landscape became a logical setting to explore personal and universal themes often associated with women — consumerism, sexualizing the female form, and judgments regarding the appearance of women in society. The images are performance pieces where my unclothed body, my gestures, and the surrounding natural elements, prompt questions about the meaning of vulnerability, nakedness, self-acceptance, and aging.
The images invite the viewer to accompany the artist in the less obvious adventures being presented, to experience the freedom, privacy, restfulness, and self-assertion conveyed in the photographs. The images declare: I will not become invisible with age and I am content being alone. Poetry created for each image explores these ideas further.
The subject is present and often standing, bearing witness to the places and memories of the journey that led her there. In others, the subject is reclining, finally finding a state of rest and comfort from a life of struggles, while hiding behind norms and protocols. The character is vulnerable, yet the scenes and accompanying words contrast the idea of fragility and exposure with empowerment – much like nature itself. The images aim to present the beauty of living natural things, in contrast to the desecration of both women and the environment.
The ideas of waste, trash, trash talk, merchandizing, old and useless often apply to women’s bodies and the environment. Rather than overt finger pointing in acid tones, the artist uses her own nakedness in nature to find beauty. She prefers honey rather than vinegar. Her image titles give clues; her accompanying poems invite the viewer to go deeper with her, into self-acceptance and respect for nature. – RD
I am an emerging artist living in Santa Fe, NM. I work in various media, including photography, ink drawing, painting, and conceptual installations. Words are important to me, so they often play a role in my art.
I like being naked in nature — it feels like a default state to me. I am also a private and at times formal person, which, I know, sounds like a contradiction. And so continues my transformation from being the dutiful daughter to an older woman more interested in free expression and self-acceptance. I’m more honey than vinegar, more focused on creating beauty than proselytizing.
I’ve been fortunate to work in many diverse professions — all of which feed into my creativity as an artist, now in my 60s.