Always using film processes for her documentary work, Angela is reaching back further into photography’s rich 182-year plus history using 19th century processes to include wet plate collodion, dry plate and cyanotype to discover and document Colorado Springs’ over 150-year history.
Focusing on the landscape of Colorado Springs for this project, Angela photographed at the Garden of the Gods, Glen Eyrie, and the Hoodoos of Palmer Park and Woodmen Valley (today, the neighborhoods of Rockrimmon), taking into consideration what these landscapes and early geology must have looked like 150 years ago to the early settlers, before they were interlaced with roads, neighborhoods, and parks.
Can you describe your dreams? Whether you sleep well or not, the answer will be different for everyone. Sleep cycles are random, and we often discover they reverse course in the night. While we do fall asleep and wake up, there is a complex and beautiful in-between. My sleep produces thoughts and visions that are memorable, although, usually blurred and distorted. When asked about dreams, or memorable pictures, some people describe fantastical visions, and others, nightmares. You might not remember a thing, or you may have very vivid recollections, but assuredly, you have something that your mind conjures.
Most nights I do not sleep well, however, I have made a concerted effort to recall as many visuals as I can from abstract shapes, to bits of clarity, to brightly lit portals. These photographs are my visual interpretations of my own typical night’s rest.
As I explore Colorado’s forested areas near my home, I find pockets of destruction. Downed trees, trash heaps and many spent rounds. While feeling a deep sense of anger, I am determined to photograph these spaces to bring awareness to this blight.
I am an avid darkroom practitioner and enjoy the tactile connection with film. I believe that in a documentary practice, I have a tangible artifact that becomes a part of history. Film has always remained a large part of my photography endeavors as it slows me down, keeps me focused and selective in my compositions, and in part, I pay homage to the documentary photographers who I admire such as Robert Adams.
Moving forward, I see this project evolving into a socially conscious exhibition, and book. I have added the use of the wet collodion plate process, as I believe in recognizing the earliest of environmental documentary photographers to include Civil War photographer George Barnard who made plates of the downed trees shattered by artillery fire on Sherman’s March to the Sea. I believe this connection helps to reveal the resilience of nature, and my hope that she continues to be as resilient.
I also collect tangible artifacts from the sites. I see these objects as becoming another integral element in an exhibition. I plan to photograph these objects – everyday items such as a shattered bowling pin, and a limp mannequin head attached to a road cone – in a studio environment as though they are commercial products, although products of absurdity. These photographs will invite the viewer to inspect these objects with a more critical eye when removed from the area of destruction.
“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi
This selection of studio portraits of animal skulls became an ongoing project as I collected, found, and have been gifted these bleached animal remains. I felt there is a sort of reverence in honoring the animal, rather than just discarding the skulls. I want to document the animal and reveal that these are majestic creatures even when close to decay and dust. While ghosts of their former selves, they still represent the importance they share in our world together.
The southern states are very special to me. My family moved to Savannah when I was twelve years old, and into a neighborhood where my mom’s family lived. I was close to my grandparents and my aunt and uncle. Growing up so close to family made all the difference in the world to me. The support system, and the encouragement to pursue my dreams was always felt. I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, I met my husband in Atlanta, and I got to know his extended family in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. I love to photograph the South. My undergraduate thesis was made along Highway 17, a sort of “left behind” thoroughfare in the shadow of I-95. I documented the slow decline of those towns along that route, and that love of photographing the left behind, or forgotten has never been far from my creative ideas.
When I moved to the Western United States in the early 2000’s, I fell in love with the wide-open spaces, the endless skies, and the clarity of light. And, while digital photography was in it’s early days, I continued to shoot film as I still do today. The West, and Colorado, has become a sort of long-term documentary project for me. I went back to school in 2017, via online at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and much like my undergraduate thesis on my The South gallery, I fell in love with documenting the West. The small towns, the areas that were falling victim to growth and homogenization, and the landscapes that make the West, so uniquely the West. Gone were the moss covered oak trees and marsh lands, I have something new to explore. My MFA Thesis, Civilized Frontier, explores many of the small Colorado towns I’ve visited.
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt
The Oxford Languages Dictionary suggests Kitsch means, “. . .art, objects or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way. . .” I found that I migrate to such objects as there is a nostalgia, grotesque-ness, or other-ness to these small vignettes. A plastic Elvis, or a pool shark, each have their own personality and appeal to a more carefree side of myself, who enjoys viewing the world with a big dose of humor in the midst of enough serious stuff to last us all a lifetime. I only wish now, I would have photographed the Big Chicken in Marietta, Georgia before leaving the state!
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” –Will Rogers
My favorite people are dogs. I have had dogs in my life since birth. In fact, my older “sister,” Taffy, was my parent’s first kid. She was part husky/part wolf found as a pup near the Alaska Pipeline area where my dad worked. I grew up with dogs. Our dogs, my aunt and uncle’s dogs, always a part of our lives and households. These were never yard dogs, or outdoor-only dogs, our dogs lived the life of luxury, and still do. Randy and I rescue dogs today. At any given time, we’ve got three in the house, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are my peace, my solace, and my kids. And, without them, life is too quiet.