Art has always held a special place in my heart leading me to study art from 3,000 BCE until now, the Meghalayan Age. From a practical standpoint, I worked my way through university as an administrative assistant in the Art Department, which was a freestanding building in the woods about ½ mile away from the university (you had to drive down a dirt road to get to it). I was responsible for the grounds, the building, the budget, the slide or digital library, and the gallery, sometimes even teaching a class or two. Later, for one semester, I was an intern at the Sackler Museum in Cambridge, MA. I found comfort in studying and understanding the place that the beauty of art has held through time
And, in praxis, it came to be, as a source of art therapy, during a yearlong illness I had. Remembering I had a camera, I had once used during university, to photograph art, I found in the library’s journals I needed for my research, I took it, crossed the street to the San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary, and began clicking. There, distracted from my illness, I felt at peace, and the Sanctuary offered me a calming escape. As I walked along one of the many paths nestled within, I found solace and, surprisingly, something more. Surrounded by the 200 species of birds and more, I photographed the color and the life that flourished in and among the natural landscape of the Sanctuary. I thought to myself, then, that, “the creative process began and ended with me taking a photograph of something beautiful.”
However, I soon learned that the creative process extended far beyond the mere act of clicking a button on my camera–it was in altering the images, emotionally intensifying each captured moment, through photo editing, that I could create something more meaningful–a new sensibility, by presenting that moment from different angles and aspects, reconstructed, into a new composition of forms, and, especially, using color, to express and thereby provoke an emotional response.
Influences: Wassily Kandinsky and other photographers.
Fun Fact: I grew up on a self-sustaining farm without running water, electricity, and bathroom and the last degree I earned was from Harvard University.
See more of Sandra’s beautiful work online www.sandrapipkenphotography.com