LAURINDA STOCKWELL – Santa Fe, New Mexico
A friend of mine once revealed a tragic family treasure. A small suitcase containing silver spoons and simple gold jewelry including tiny gold girls’ earrings. A teenage boy relative came alone to the United States escaping Nazi Germany. He was able to keep these treasures and survive but most of his family did not. Tears welled in my eyes almost immediately as my friend and the contents of that suitcase told their story.
It took me years to absorb this powerful narrative and begin collecting objects that spoke truth to power to me. My photographs suggest stories but more importantly, they ask the viewer to participate in their own storytelling. Some objects possess a charged powerfulness to me. Often it is an interaction of the objects with people. Such as a tool worn with use. Other objects interact with the elements, worn with time: rain, sun, or wind.
“Memory and history permeate the austere imagery of Laurinda Stockwell. Her works record the natural world to create visual interpretations of the temporal world. A photographer who works with assemblage, she collects feathers, branches, and natural history illustrations, juxtaposing the natural image with the second-hand, to make still-life photographs with subtle poignancy. Stockwell looks for significant objects, just as others search for significant form. There is no clearly understood narrative in Stockwell’s works. The analogies which she draws among objects within a piece are evocative and associative-not at all literal. In these assemblages, she has honed her vocabulary into a significant language that is once nostalgic and historical, yet very contemporary. The works suggest the spiritual and the precious yet look as if made with little deliberate labor. Stockwell achieves succinct poetic form in these works.” ~ Alison Weld, New Jersey State Museum