Artist's Statement

Ruth Lauer Manenti

Feeling overwhelmed by dramatic events taking place in my life, I decided not to leave my home and to stay in the safety and gentleness of my cabin in the woods at the foot of the Catskill Mountains. I was going through a rough time and turned to my work to pull me through. I have always been a hard worker, but I had never before approached my work as a refuge. The problems I was experiencing in my personal life had a way of entering my studio gracefully. I photographed the objects that I live with, many of them old, (remnants, chipped cups, old glass), because I like things from the past and marvel at their imperfections and ability to survive. The act of making this work was something positive that balanced and gave perspective on the hardships that I was dealing with. My state of fragility allowed for a greater sensitivity to beauty and detail, giving these delicate objects gravity. As those events have passed, I continue to work on this project, less now in relationship to that vulnerable time, but rather out of interest in the meanings and possibilities of being a still life photographer. Sometimes when an artist works wholeheartedly while under duress and manages to stay focused, the situation causing the stress pushes the artist into a deep place within him or herself. This is what happened to me with this work and I was uplifted by its beauty and quietude.