Little Yellow Flowers
Jennifer Thoreson, Photographer
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Experimental Works

Little Yellow Flowers

When I moved to New Mexico in 2011, I felt completely lost and displaced. In spite of all my efforts, the memory of the things I loved was fading away.There were things I could no longer hold on to; aromas, textures, the way a voice would echo, the sounds from an open window, the exact shade of robin’s egg blue on the bathroom wall; exact expressions on faces in in exact moments.The memories were no longer tangible. I could only re-interpret them.

I created five experimental images, two of which you see here. The work explores feelings of displacement and the persistent ache of fading memory.I photographed in places that were gently dreamlike, neutral, and tepid.An organic mass emerges from each figure and envelopes each head, sealing it into a protective armor. The bodies of each model appear lifeless and flaccid, perhaps as though they are weakened, or defeated. I imagine they are simply extremely still, arduously straining to remember something they’ve lost. I imagine futility of these masses, and their exaggerated efforts to contain and safeguard the remaining memories. I used organic materials to create the sculptural forms as a metaphor the fluctuating and transient nature of memory. While it was a departure to experiment with organic material, I still felt most drawn to most ordinary, less glamorous elements such as tumbleweeds, bramble, brush, broken logs, and piles of dirt.I was excavating and transporting pieces of earth from my new home and territory. Somehow I felt as if these pieces harbored feelings; feelings quite similar to my own.In creating the simple sculptures, I became invested in visual repetition and rhythmic use of a single material, mass, and an illusion of weight. Creating each form was both deliberate and experimental. It was a cathartic act.In my past works, most of the sculptural forms are digitally assembled and manipulated, rather than sculptural forms that exist in my space.Though they are simple, these organic structures are the first entirely handmade pieces I have made for photographic works. This was both an enlightening and encouraging discovery, which opened up unexplored methods for making work.