ARTIST STATEMENT: survive, thrive, create
In December 2003 a pickup driver disregarded the relevance of red light completion and the cyclist crossing in right of way. He rammed him unconscious in the intersection of two of the busiest through fares north of Detroit. The story then gets horrible. One cannot heal when one must first survive.
But survive I did. Now, a theme evolves in my work of subjects often otherwise over looked; down there, where the skies meet mother earth. Just, as I was. Some are disciplined for their safety. Others launch to theirs. All remind me: survive.
Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) so often are a struggle after brain injury. To maximize them, techniques like breaking large tasks down into little tasks which, when completed together, achieves the large task; isolating focus; slowing down; securing verification of intended communication, keeping panic to the minimum; keeping a planner; ect… are just some treasures in the toolbox of compensatory strategies.
There can be found concentric lessons in conquering ADLs and prosecuting detailed wildlife & landscape photography. When a smile savors an image, sound preparation is to likely to blame. When ADLs of the disabled are maximized, simple pro-action deserves the rap. But at least there is more time in the latest tomorrow.
I asked my doctor shortly after the accident why I was bringing home all this wall art from the resale shops. I never had the interest in it.
“Frequently” he said, “in literature and film, the brain injured has memory problems and these defeat successful plot and character development. But within the four sides of the frame rest the whole story. The TBI can stop, review and continue to its intended conclusion at their own individual information processing speed.”
26 months ago, at age 44, I bought my first point and shoot, a Cannon Powershot.
In three Washtenaw Community College semesters since, I have 15 photography program credits in four classes and one four week – Lightroom2 credit. I have not taken any studio, or black and white. Program GPA: 3.8 Overall GPA 3.4
Domenic Centofani taught me how to be creative and principled in composition, design and the use of light. Terry Abrams taught me the difference between personal and universal captures. Lon Horwedel taught me to go wherever other shooters are not. These lessons have been a paramount in my work and theirs should be apparent in mine.
When I took the summer off, with the Cannon Powershot, I filmed the lead 6 o’clock Channel 7 WXYZ Metro Detroit News story “Dramatic River Rescue”, then was invited to play stand in opposite rival stars in a scene from the film “Answer This!” which premiered October 2010.