Mother of a six-year-old

It's hard to write about being the mother of a six-year-old. Edie's birthday was on the 18th and it's taken me five days to be able to begin a new blog post. It's not so much that I'm an emotional wreck, or can't believe where the time went or that she's this old--it's just that so much is getting away from me lately. In some ways I've never been happier and in some ways I'm completely fragile. I've been sitting here staring at the screen trying to think of how to articulate it all. Generally articulating things isn't difficult for me--usually I simply begin writing and the words flow and those words help me to figure out and organize what I feel and where I am with my work, with motherhood, with seeing and shooting and being. But now, oddly, words fail me.

There's so much that seems to be going on in the back of my brain, behind the scenes. My dreams are wild and strange--being bit on the tip of my finger by an escaped lion in a mall in the Netherlands with a group of people from college is only a tiny fraction of what I dreamt last night. And here I am once again staring at the wall, wondering what to say next, what to tell you. I really did feel the urge to post--that excitement to convey my perspective was strong as I walked the stairs to my office. But as soon as I tried to think of what to say, well--here we are.

Here we are and I'm at a loss so I'll say what needs to be said about my Edie: she's active and skinny and wild--she climbs the molding in our house, inching up until she can hang from the top. She's obsessed with the monkey bars and swinging from trees and jumping and playing. It's a level of activity I haven't witnessed to this extent in her before--it's an energy that is at once overwhelming and beautiful and maddening. Something in her is breaking free, but she hasn't yet learned how to contain it, how to stop climbing when she smashes a picture on the floor, how to part from the tree in the dark in the cold without shoes.

That level of concentration comes to play when she constructs things out of boxes and paper, when she draws and plays games. Her moments of stillness happen at those times, as she focuses, or listens to a book, or of course in front of the TV. She's crazy about June and asks her to play and they concoct these complicated games with dolls and toys, and then when they get angry they hit and scream and screech. Maybe my inability to write is because of this intensity--the extremes of noise and activity, which suddenly shut off when they go to school, and then the silence is a relief and odd all at once. Edie is who she has always been and more so, and her intensity seems to be matched by my intensity of feeling for her--my love is a force, an energy in its own right. It's that feeling of wanting to devour your children, partly because they're so delicious and partly because sometimes you just want to shut them up. Being a mother is a wild, wild thing.


Thoughts on Photography Interview

Last month Paul Giguere kindly contacted me to see if I would mind being interviewed for one of his podcasts for Thoughts on Photography. I was happy to oblige as I had enjoyed listening to a number of my photographic friends online, including Liz Kuball, Aline Smithson, Angela Bacon-Kidwell and Suzanne Revy. My own 45-minute conversation with Paul is now live here.

I have to say when he emailed a couple of days ago to tell me it was up, it took me a good two hours to muster the courage to listen to it. I was prepared to cringe at the sound of my own voice, but I have to say that I'm actually quite pleased with the results (pardon the possible egotism, really it's just relief).

While of course I don't sound anything like how I hear my voice in my own head (since when did I pick up such a Midwestern pronunciation of words like "at" and "god"?) I also wasn't as freaked out listening to myself as I thought I might be. I suppose this is largely because when I talked to Paul it felt very comfortable and energizing--I really enjoyed our conversation and when the interview was over, I hung up the phone on a bit of a high. It makes me realize how much I love discussing photography and process and the ideas behind pictures, and I hope this comes across in the way I speak about my passion for this creative life I've chosen.

Be sure to look through the various podcasts; Paul covers a wide variety of interesting topics, including: The collectibility of inkjet prints; The family of photography; Exhibiting and sharing your photography; and the concept of "Flow," among many others. It's an excellent resource for photographers--many thanks to Paul for asking me to participate.

Slideluck Potshow XIV

My lovely James will be in Slideluck Potshow XIV, giving an "encore" performance of his bottled water video--I put encore in quotes because he was actually accepted into the last Slideluck Potshow, but due to a technical glitch his piece was never shown. Long story short we had hired a babysitter, spent three hours watching the other work--which was enjoyable but it was getting late--and then the whole thing ended without any sighting of his video. Talk about disappointing. Luckily the folks at Slideluck are making up for it by putting him on the roster again, so, without further ado:

When? This Friday, November the 13th

Where? The Aperture Foundation, 547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, between 10th and 11th Avenues

Who? Abelardo Morell * Alexander Gronsky * Amelie Escher * Andrew Dosunmu * Andrew Hetherington * Andrew Moore/Yancey Richardson * Birthe Piontek * Chuck Close * David Maisel * Filippo Mutani * Francois Robert * Harri Kallio * James Worrell * Jeff Harris * Jon Feinstein * Jonathan Torgovnik/MediaStorm * Jowhara AlSaud * Kent Rogowski * Lori Nix * Mathieu Laverdière * Mashid Mohadjerin * Melanie Bonajo * Narinda Reeders * Nora Herting * Paolo Woods * Richard Mosse * S. Billie Mandle * Sara Terry * Sarah Hughes * Sophia Wallace * Tiffany Walling & John McGarity * Tim Davis * Todd Fisher * Vincent Laforet * Yoav Galai/100 Eyes * Yvonne Venegas * Zack Seckler

Anything else? "There are going to be some interesting new components to this show! We will be experimenting with an interactive technology to make both your slideshow and potluck experience more dynamic, if you’d like to preregister your phone, click here. After a large outreach to the foodie and farming communities, we should have some really tasty and diverse additions to the table. And, as an ode to the late Irving Penn, we will have a photo booth that is reminiscent of the angular corner of his studio.

For entrance to this show, it’s necessary to purchase $10 tickets in support of both SLPS and The Aperture Foundation. To avoid the line and ensure yourself a spot, we invite you to purchase your tickets before it’s too late.

Beverages will be provided, as we really want to put emphasis on the potluck at this event. Think about making food that fits the theme, INSIDE OUT, such as 'Blankets in a Pig' or 'Right-side-up Pineapple Cake.' Just bring something, either for the potluck, or for donation to the local soup kitchen. We will also be accepting digital camera donations to the Slideluck Youth Initiative."

Good luck babe!


photomonth 09 in the UK

I don't usually write about international festivals, but I received an email from Shoot Experience, an (in their words) "experiential photography company" who wrote to let me know that they're co-producing photomonth, which is the UK's largest photography festival. It seems like a great venue for those in England to attend--it runs until the end of the month, and includes over 150 exhibitions and events, more than 85 galleries and spaces and over 500 photographers. Highlights include a book signing by Martin Parr tomorrow night from 6-8pm at Rocket Gallery, and a lecture by Mark Neville at White Chapel Gallery this Thursday at 7:00pm. For all of the events visit photomonth's website here.


Ian van Coller

© Ian van Coller

This image by Ian van Coller is incredible. I had the pleasure of meeting Ian in Santa Fe and was happy I was able to view large, beautiful prints from two of his series, Interior Relations and The Garden Path, in person. You can see more great work on his blog and on his website.


I am...

...a lazy blogger this week. It's the time-change and the lack of sunlight--I'm going into hibernation mode. My third-floor office is like a warm cozy cave, and I've been spending my time either curled up in my comfortable bed or zoning on the computer (when I'm not dealing with kids and schedules and school drop-offs and bedtimes and meals and piles and piles of laundry, of course). Speaking of bedtime, I must get these buggers to sleep. I'll be in the swing again soon, I hope.