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Unruly Vegetables Redux

A long while ago, I did a series called Unruly Vegetables. I was new to digital tools and the pieces back then were dark and nightmarish images of vegetables concerned with the issue of control and containment. Recently I wondered what would happen if I undertook this project again, retaining only the name and basic concerns about control, and seeing where my aesthetic, my skills and my vision now landed. I set out as a challenge to myself to create still lifes utilizing natural light and light modifiers in order to allow that light to give form to the stuff of our daily lives. After that, I would just see what happened.

As I began to photograph, I utilized various twines, strings and tapes to explore the "containment of the unruly". I paid attention to my meandering mind, and I realized that I was creating personal and interpersonal dramas with “my subjects”. Thoughts on relationships, sacrifice, abandonment, courage and the like soon began to inform my setups for each frame, metaphorically reflecting the choices, trials and challenges of human existence and relationship, sort of like the moralistic still lifes of the 17th century except with no moral judgement or threat of eternal damnation involved. In allowing this unrestrained stream of consciousness to exist within a formalistic, structured format which bows to historical styles of painting and photography, I permit both my creative intuition and my desire for craftsmanship to merge in creating an image that offers an unfamiliar way of regarding the familiar.