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|s t u d i o||p h o t o g r a p h s b y K i m K a u f f m a n|
i n v e s t i g a t i o n s , volume 1
the work of inquiring into something thoroughly; detailed or careful examination
Investigations: Collections from Life
Imagine taking a relaxing walk in a garden, through the woods, your neighborhood, or even by a patch of vegetables. As you walk your pace slows to allow a closer look at objects that catch your eye. Perhaps you pick some up for further inspection, turning them over in your hand, wondering at their origins and admiring the intricacy of their designs. You stash a few in your pocket and continue on, finding more objects as the walk leads you home. Once there, you empty your pockets and look at the collection you have gathered. An unusual stone is placed on the windowsill, a feather goes in a vase on the bookshelf joining others from past gleanings. The objects have no real relation to each other except that they all piqued your curiosity on a particular day and a particular walk. And . . . they continue to draw your attention – you wish to live with them for a while.The images in this series are my investigations of objects I have collected from life: bits of flowers and plants, feathers, rocks, empty nests, a turtle shell, butterfly wings, beets sprouting new growth. My walks are both real and imagined – created in my studio as I gather together the objects that have drawn my attention and kept me company. Some of these objects I have come to think of as icons, they are the starting points of my compositions. Others take their places as supporting cast and counterpoint. They represent the living and the dead, the permanent and the transient. They are beings that fly, flower, feed us, avoid us. My collages are investigations of these objects – these beings – their relationships, similarities and uniquenesses. They are, to me, reminders of all that I don’t know and understand but cause me to marvel and wonder.
This series of photo-collages is inspired by my Florilegium images and questions I’ve asked about new directions that my work might take. Over the eleven years of creating Florilegium collages my idea about objects to include has grown to encompass natural elements beyond the botanical – feathers, tree bark, dragonfly wings. What if I cast even further for subjects? In conversation a museum director, gesturing wildly, said to me, “I want to see fruits, vegetables, dead animals . . .“ Hmm, I wondered. How to do that? His request brought to mind the luscious European still life paintings showing the bounty of the natural world but also its impermanent and cyclical nature. These new photo-collages called “Investigations: Collections from Life” are my explorations in broadening my subject matter and expanding the vocabulary of my imagery.