I work with a family of dolls mass-produced in the 1950s—the embodiment of an idealized middle-class culture, now relegated to attics and tag sales. While only four inches tall, they have power beyond their size. Once models of conformity, years of handling have worn away their veneer of polite reserve and privilege, and the contrast between their formal clothing and scarred bodies is both poignant and symbolic. Their distress embodies the sad truth of the era in which they were made, and that dichotomy between perfectly curated public lives and private lives filled with anger, confusion, and despair, is becoming increasingly relevant today.
The Fifties are now romanticized as a simpler, more prosperous time of happy housewives and backyard barbecues. But beneath the stoic façades, discontent grew and conflicts festered, until finally erupting into the civil rights, anti-war, environmental, and women’s movements of the Sixties. Today, while our social media serves us an endless scroll through the “good” life, these same issues are at the forefront of our contentious politics and growing societal unrest. Contrary to current mythology, there was no safety, clarity, or surpassing morality during the post-war era, and the drive to somehow get us back there is one of the major forces now propelling us into a dark and unsure future.
Working outdoors, following the seasons, water animates my work as it animates all life. Whether liquid or frozen, in droplets or ponds, it serves as both metaphor and lens. Worn remnants of plastic are transformed when fractured through panes of ice, reflected in liquid windows, or swathed in sodden leaves or petals. Intuitive, improvised, my photographs are created entirely in-camera, in available light.

Back to Top