Of the Earth 5 – photography archival inkjet print; 8.5 x 16 in.
My work seeks to blur the line between myself and the earth, to overcome the sense of alienation and separation, and to let me become part of the life that surrounds me. My work helps me live out my belief that humanity is but one part of the integrated network of life. I work with commonplace materials in our environment, such as stone, skin, and fabric, including many things that are considered inanimate. With oblique lighting, I coax out the texture and rhythm of the life hidden within. Black and white film simplifies and concentrates the vision. A macro lens closes the distance between me and what I’m photographing.
I grew up in a small logging community on the west coast of Washington State, and after college pursued a career as an English teacher and freelance writer. Many times I found it difficult to put into words my feelings about the world around me. When I turned to the camera, looking through the lens connected me with the spirit within the material, whether natural or manufactured. The photographs in this entry question the boundaries between my own skin and the skin of the earth – protecting and strong, vulnerable, weathering and aging.
© Verna Todd