Lisa M. Robinson


January 20, March 18, 2007

For the past four winters, I have been photographing in the snow.

The images from Snowbound describe a cultural landscape in which the objects of our recreation and occupation merge with the natural world while subtly restraining it. In these familiar spaces, transformed in winter not only by a blanket of snow, but also by a state of inactivity, we are offered glimpses of the sublime.

While I am drawn to those structures or human traces that provide refuge or a point of reference in the midst of winter, I am also interested in a Proustian evocation of memory. The backyards, public beaches, and parks where I roam are repositories of vague childhood imaginings and experiences that have been frozen in time, waiting for our imaginations to recall them.

In these photographs, a minimalist’s palette combines with a haiku poet’s sensibility. I seek beauty in plain, simple language by observing ordinary things closely. Below the “ka,” or beautiful surface, lies the “jitsu,” the substantial core. At times, these images become almost monochromatic, distilled to their essential parts not unlike the deepest states of meditation. The palette of blue and orange and seafoam green which leaps from these images is an effective reminder of the human presence that mediates the natural world.

These quiet ruminations are very much informed by references to drawing, painting, and sculpture. Three-dimensional reality is translated and flattened into two dimensions in the snow, which functions as the ideal positive/negative space. Poles, ropes, and footprints in the snow recur throughout this series, functioning like human “marks” that reference drawing on the canvas of reality. Even the objects of my fascination, an aboveground pool or a snow-laden trampoline, function as found sculpture that resonate human qualities.

While on the surface, these images seem to have captured moments in time; there is an implied suggestion of the passage of time and life cycles. Within the heart of a spare winter, other seasons emerge- a suspended hammock, empty flowerpots, bubbles of breath breaking through the surface of ice in a frozen man-made pond. These scenes suggest, upon contemplation, the temporal nature of all things.

– Lisa. M. Robinson, 2007

Lisa M. Robinson earned her BA in English from Columbia University and her MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. A resident of Jackson Heights, NY, Robinson has exhibited her work internationally in both group and solo shows at venues including Paul Kopeikin Gallery in LA, Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, and the Houston Center for Photography. The “Snowbound” series presented at CPW has been shown at the Silver Eye Gallery in Pittsburgh, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, the Jack Leigh Gallery in Savannah, as well as galleries in Denmark, Argentina, and Uruguay. Lisa is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and the Vermont Studio Center. Most recently, she participated in a 2006 residency with Light Work. Her photographs are in collections at Light Work, Fidelity Investments, Escuela Argentina De Fotographia, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. Kehrer Verlag will publish Robinson’s Snowbound series as a book in fall 2007.