Whether hanging on clotheslines in Mexico or from windows in Europe, freshly washed laundry has long stirred a sense of hope in me, representing renewal and a fresh start. After taking a multitude of outdoor laundry images over the years, it was during a cold February in Chicago that I wondered where I might find fresh laundry drying. My curiosity led me into Laundromats.
Drawn to the colors spinning in the clothes dryers I never imagined what I would ultimately find when I went to the computer to view the digital images I had taken of the laundry. Therein I saw faces and forms – both human and animal-like. And I was hooked. Thus was my "Revolutions" laundry project born.
Capturing the laundry revolving in the clothes dryer presented even more of a rebirth in its transformed state. What has been most exciting for me is moving from capturing concrete laundry images to the abstract forms that have emerged on this journey. Herein is work that is a convergence of color, light, and form in the abstract. As Picasso said, “There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” I believe that is what this series does. I start with fabric and a dryer, and in collaboration with my camera, we transform the reality.
I also enjoy photography as a vehicle to relationships. In the course of focusing on this laundry project, I have had a host of interesting conversations with customers, attendants and/or owners of the Laundromats. Yet it is usually the children who are in the Laundromat with a family member that are the most curious, the most interested, and the most open to what I am doing with my camera in a laundromat - maybe starting a Revolution!
Other than two basic b&w photography courses courses taken 35 years ago, I am self-taught in photography. After 20 years of working with b & w film in the darkroom, I now include color photography in my repertoire and work primarily with a digital camera. Photography took a sideline as I advanced in my career as an educator, conflict resolution specialist and mother. My photography reflects my interest in people, the narratives of their lives, and the environments that shape them. My passion for photography has taken me further than the eye can see and sometimes in unexpected directions. Most exciting is moving from primarily concrete to abstract images that have emerged on this journey.
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