NEW WORK DeborahGriffin.com
Winner of the Honorable Mention juried award at Alameda on Camera 3.
Artist's Statement for Childhood Past
Alameda on Camera, Déjà vu
How could I bring something fresh to this process?
Last year there was the challenge of something new. This year, I remembered the pressure, the confusion of too many images, the desire to say it all with one image, the need to wrap it up just as the ideas were beginning to percolate. That flurry of energy from the first weekend was followed by the sorting, the abandoned, the final crunch to finish a complicated piece. This year would be different.
My area of the map was different, but the challenges were very similar. And this time the project was about synchronicity. I was out early, driving through my streets, trying to beat the rain. Then I saw Jeff Cambra and realized I was on his street and he was in my grid. He very graciously consented to my desire to wander through his Victorian on a rainy afternoon and gather images and backgrounds for a collage idea that I’d been playing with for some time. Fortuitously, the Meyer House was also open for that day only in February of and I was allowed to take a few photographs of a fully restored Victorian to contrast with Jeff’s work in progress. The end result is an assemblage of photographs from that afternoon combined with pieces from my collection of tintypes, cabinet cards, and ambrotypes. Childhood Past explores the magical often confusing world of childhood in story, memory, and imagination.
Lovelorn Miss Sandborn explores the archetypes of victim and wounded inner child. When I purchased this tintype there was something about the loneliness of her expression and the words Miss Sandborn inscribed on the tintype, that caused me to craft a story of heartbreak and isolation and portray that narrative through metaphorical images. So often one is shackled by issues of anger, fear, and self-esteem yet Miss Sandborn holds the key to all her problems if she just had the courage to break the hold of melancholia and mourning for lost love and use it.
First Place Winner, Mixed Media
Alameda Art Association
Alameda Historical Museum Show
This work, Secret Confessions 2 explores the archetype of prostitute and lover. When I purchased the original antique French postcard I found the insouciant young woman charming. Is she where she is by choice? I created the room around her, and her gentlemen callers from tintypes, and in the case of the wallpaper, photographs a friend had taken of erotic frescoes at Pompeii. The parlor is filled with metaphoric images of discarded flowers and chocolates, a secret diary, a tamed wild beast, gifts, and references to “soiled doves,” an anachronistic slang for prostitute. This world also reveals her protector and a secret lover hiding behind the curtains. Our courtesan is seductive and titillating, yet she seems very self-possessed with secrets of her own.
BEST OF SHOW, Frank Bette Center for the Arts, "Undressed" Exhibit
5by5by5 Special Exhibit, 2008, Frank Bette Center for the Arts
The elements of this piece included a vintage postcard, tintypes, my photographs of a butterfly in my garden, stormy skies over Santa Fe, and a discarded towel, repurposed clipart, drawings (created digitally and with conventional materials) and a scanned poem from a friend, all brought together with the alchemy of digital manipulation.
I believe we bring our own experience and meaning to the observation of any artwork, And it is my I hope that Shadowboxing will resonate with others, and that the viewer will find the butterfly of hope and transformation in your own engagement with whatever internal or external shadows might threaten.