Returned to Life
I don’t accept a hard and fast line between the animate and inanimate world. Instead, I look for ways by which the inanimate can be reanimated with light and an unusual perspective. At a certain moment, light settles upon a salamander suspended in liquid, or a taxidermied bird catches the light through a bell jar. What was formerly so static and seemingly dead seconds ago may momentarily come alive. The object regains a sense of presence.
I make photographs because they are a way to make sense of the world. In some ways, I am exploring these once living things as a scientist might, making careful visual observations of surface and texture. But unlike a scientist, I want to arrange these objects in such a way that simple visual relationships reveal an aesthetic order to the world.
I start with an intuitive feeling about what might become visually compelling. I touch the objects, turn them over in my hands and watch how the light reveals what is there. Setting the objects down, I move them around, I place them in and around the containers and instruments of scientific discovery – glass jars, measuring paper, mirrors. Then I begin to imagine how a camera lens might further transform and amplify what is already there. At that point I set up the camera and begin working on taking the picture.