Artist Statement for Lora Abernathy
I grew up in Tucson, Arizona surrounded by the unconventional beauty of the high desert. It never occurred to me that the word “desert” meant a harsh, boring or, perhaps even intimidating place for those who had never experienced it. I took great joy in taking people into the desert to wonder at the symmetry of thorns on a barrel cactus or the incredible patterns left in the skeleton of a dying saguaro.
I left Arizona many years ago but my fascination with patterns as they appear as parts of a bigger whole continues to inform what I photograph. I continue to find joy in showing people the extraordinary in the ordinary. I enjoy abstracting the organic, natural world. The irony here is simply this: In order to abstract something from our natural surroundings it usually necessitates simply removing it from its larger context and it suddenly becomes a beautiful, though unidentifiable, form in its own right.
I was visiting a photographic exhibition at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston recently where I came upon some photographs taken in the first half of the 20th century that were of organic shapes that had been slightly abstracted. They referred to this a “biomorphism” – a kind of surrealism using free-flowing, organic forms. This fits. As a fairly new photographer exploring new paths, stumbling upon this work has been both illuminating and validating. It could be awhile before I have anything on the walls of the Museum of Fine Art. In the meantime, I hope you take the time to view my work around West Seattle.