During my time in Italy and Germany I became ever increasingly aware of the importance these countries place on the wisdom of those that came before. In Berlin, for example, the acknowledgment of the realities of WWII is genuine, raw and ever present. For me, someone of Jewish heritage, the visit to Berlin was intense and life changing. All over Berlin the phrase used isn’t what I grew up with in America: “6 million Jews were Killed in the holocaust”, the phrase is “6 million Jews were Murdered in the holocaust”. This simple turn of phrase changed my entire understanding of ownership of ones past. The Germans aren’t using euphemisms for what happened, they are acknowledging the deeds of their ancestors and learning from them.
The experience I had in Italy was different but also powerful. While visiting cemeteries in Tuscany I began to notice that in the crypts there were often chairs set up in pairs; symbolizing, or maybe actually allowing for, conversation. The implication seemed to be, come in, sit down, and let us share with you our wisdom. In times of such upheaval in the US, the profound connection that these two countries have to their history, and the invitation to learn from it gives me hope that we too can learn from our past mistakes. For as we know
“Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana
Conversations with the Ancestors was inspired by these two experiences and the imagery suggests connections to the past. My choice of platinum/palladium as the medium, prints that will outlast all of us, speaks to my desire for us all to never forget the wisdom of the ages.
The Mythology of Mushrooms
(New work in Progress)
The Mythology of Mushrooms
I am fascinated by mushrooms and have been photographing them for years. The mythology around them is vast, their forms are numerous, and their uses are wide-ranging…they are ephemeral and insanely fragile but they can cure cancer and alter our state of mind, flavor our foods and stand in for meat products, clean dirty soil and be used as a fuel replacement. When I took all of this into consideration I realized that no medium could be better to print something ephemeral and yet so powerful than the most permanent and noble of metals: Platinum!
Best if Used By
“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss Project, we throw away more than 25 percent, some 25.9 million tons, of all the food we produce for domestic sale and consumption…Lead researcher Timothy Jones reported that on average, U.S. households waste 14 percent of their food purchases.” Scientific American, March 2010
This fact astonished me until I looked into my own refrigerator and realized that I was contributing my fair share to this statistic. Beautiful and disgusting simultaneously, this rotten food begs to be used in some way, if not for its original, intended purpose.