The “correspondences” series: a history – m. Slatkin in
1985 I decided to study shape and shadow photo-graphically by isolating bones/ eggs in my studio. In a small darkroom, with a good supply of bones from l. I. Farms, i sought structure, contrast, elegance.
I lived in a commune on 18 wooded acres near stony brook u., l. I., where i found models who could climb trees. I shot trunks beside trunks, limbs between limbs. But suddenly, our arms did look like branches; our torso did, inform And function, resemble trunks of trees. We were truly part of nature, Within it, and operated much as others in nature did. The metaphor grew. A woman’s abdomen, bearer/ protector of life, is a nest; a pregnant belly and engorged breast are gourd-like vessels. Deer hooves resembled our toes. The peeling bark of trees rippled like locks of hair. The female clitoris seemed like life within shells. Then, i thought of men and their complex reproductive apparatus. So it went. The journey was exciting, with Physical resemblance alone sometimes enough for me to set up /Capture the image. I worked for structural elegance: clean, spare
Use of space.
Various cultures view our species/ bodies differently. Most of the world’s religions place humankind above nature. The covering of the body is often considered requisite modesty in the service of God and is in some religions even used to subjugate women, but our general attitude of human supremacy has led to terrible despoiling of earth and the extinction of species. Meanwhile, within the capitalist “religion,” myriad designers labor to clothe, disguise, to make our forms sensual/sexual — to embellish our bodies for profit. My images are just one of many ways to place our bodies In a meaningful context. This exhibit, then, is an offering of my
The vision of our place within nature.
PHOTO COLLAGE: Digital Cut & Paste Colorwork In 2013 I began to use a digital camera. How could I distinguish my work from that of thousands of digital shooters? I decided to use photos as raw material, and to cut out portions, play with their placement on a blank paper, working for structural integrity as well as thematic wholeness. When satisfied, I would paste, scan, and edit using MAC photo. The results have been vibrant, diverse, and exciting. With 60 finished collages, I have not yet finished this exploration.
The artist working in several genres lives within a gnawing dilemma. Several hungry mouths need time and focus. So you juggle. As a cellist, a writer of poems, plays and fiction, a photographer, and a maker of cut/paste photo-collage, I’ve found that all media require similar effort: a dogged desire to see each project through to completion; to sniff a trail /explore side shoots as well as main routes; and to revise/ re-edit until the work gleams. If recurring ideas animate your work, you begin to see thematic unity.
For me, it seems that a love of the earth underlies much of what I have done. As in “God’s Grandeur,” by Gerard Manly Hopkins, despite lament that “all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil,” still, “nature is never spent; there lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” And so, in poems and works of short fiction as well as this collection of photos, I have tried to place us within nature as its seeds, lies dormant, sprouts, and bears fruit.
Photos in “Correspondences” were seen in Soho Photo, NYC, 1995, and in small Long Island galleries. After moving to the Hudson Valley, I was a member of the Tivoli Artist’s Gallery and ASK Kingston, to which I contribute regularly. I had a 54-print show of photo-collages at the Cooper Finn Gallery, Millbrook, NY in 2015, and a 26-photo collage exhibit at the Starr Library, Rhinebeck NY in 2016.
A playwright, I’ve had 18 one-act plays produced off-Broadway, NYC, as well as the Hudson Valley, some multiple times, some finalists in Samuel French Festivals. “Upside Down,” a full-length play, was performed in NY Libraries and given staged readings at the Dramatist’s Guild, NYC, and the Long Beach Playhouse, California. 17 of my short stories have been published in literary
My poetry books include “A Woman Milking: Barnyard poems,” Word Press, 2006, and “Not Yet: A Healing Journey Through Alzheimer’s’ Care-Giving,” sfapress, 2012, Pulitzer nominated. My newest book, “Cheese After Fukushima: Poems for a Changing Planet,” sfapress, was just published and will be available on Amazon by January 2018