Artist Statement: Proof of Life
Now in my sixties, I am unable to multi-task. I find myself sitting on my patio for well over an hour each morning or evening watching hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, squirrels and dragonflies enjoy my garden. This feels sacred and deserving of my attention. Smoothing on moisturizer, paying attention to the way the morning light moves across the hardwood floors and the daily brewing of coffee are also sacred. I feel people who are no longer of this world in the breeze, winter snow or harvest moon and there is a sense that maybe, just maybe time is permeable in some way and our lives live on in ways we cannot know.
“Proof of Life” is a photographic series that explores these moments and invites viewers to pay attention to all the ways we are leaving behind traces of who we are. Transience is a fact of life as is imperfection. Through use of multiple exposure and self-portrait, I spotlight the sacred moments in every life.
Exploring the art of being alive while aware of time’s inevitable running out is something I choose to hear as a calling to honor these ordinary moments. The act of holding a partner’s hand, swinging alongside a grandchild, the way water feels running over our fingertips or the pleasure from the steam pouring from the kettle is a sensuous experience that we often do without much thought or attention.
I’ve experienced losses; people and places I loved dearly and who’s absence I feel as a rip in my life fabric. They left traces behind, like a wispy ethereal cloud. This cloud is where memory lives. There is the leather office chair in Len’s library worn from his body and those wooden steps that led to what was my home in the mountains until my divorce; there is the smile from Jamie driving home from work embedded like a hazy photograph in my mind, memories that speak of delight, not grief.
Getting older in our culture is not celebrated. Decay is something we turn away from. We are terrified when we become aware of our dwindling days. Some waste their final years in a holding pattern, frozen and unable to feel the gift of being alive.
“Proof of Life,” is a visual invitation for viewers to pause, pay attention and think about the many ordinary moments they bear witness to each day. I want them to wish with all their hearts for the gift of growing older.