Thursday, July 31, 2008

Super Safe #1

I wanted to introduce you to the work of two photographers whose work explores our relationships with the natural world and successfully awakens us out of this repetitive cycle of super safe work I keep seeing everywhere. I was fortunate to briefly meet Colleen Plumb and Melissa Weiss Steele at Review Santa Fe this past year.

Melissa's project titled Earthen Bodies is a series of trans-formative self-portraits allowing her to find, understand and regain herself again following the death of her husband from cancer.

I take most of the photos with the camera at arms length. I use a simple digital camera- because it is not about the camera, as much as the process and the energy and the ritual of it. Thinking about the perfect lighting would constrict the flow. The other amazing thing is the symmetry of some of the images. I don't see well without my glasses. So there I am, naked, usually not terribly warm, shooting away furiously. Some of the photos have proportions and lines that are almost unbelievable. That is the mystery and magic and gift of it all.

Collen's series Urban Nature explores the connection and in some cases disconnect between ourselves and the natural world around us. Through carefully composed images of animals or the visual representation of them I begin to wonder exactly what impact we are having on their world and how will this, in the end impact ours.

My work explores simulation, consumption, destruction, and reconstruction. It addresses the essence of our connection, as well as our fragmentation from the natural. The series looks at points of intersection with wild in the human-made world—our coexistence—and explores notions of endurance and the reality of loss.

Thank you to these two women who shared their work with me.

If you have a body of work or an on going project which is "not super safe" and you'd like to share please email submissions to Please type Super Safe in the subject line. All mediums accepted.