The Inspiration of Dorthea Lange

Last week I had the pleasure of watching the American Masters documentary on PBS about one of my heroes, Great Depression photographer Dorthea Lange.  Her work has greatly influenced my abandoned farmhouse hunting and photography whenever I visit my family in South Dakota.  Dorthea’s compassion and unyielding desire to tell the tragic and heroic stories of our nation’s poor, interned and displaced through photography woke our nation up.  Dorthea’s images prompted more action than print alone could possibly ever have conveyed.

I’ve always found great beauty among the ruins in all forms.  Things that are new just don’t give me much creative juice.  I like to see everything worn out, faded, distressed and destroyed.  To me there’s always a lot more stories among the ruins.

“It is not enough to photograph the obviously picturesque.”

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“Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.”

—Dorthea Lange

You can watch the American Masters documentary online or look on demand from your local listings.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/dorothea-lange-full-episode/3260/

These images I shot with my niece south of Burke, South Dakota in January.  I’m guessing someone will recognize the house, my sincere apologies for trespassing.  The pull to see what was inside was just too much for us to resist.

There are links to Dorthea’s biography and images if you scroll down.

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Dorthea Lange’s biography

Dorthea Lange’s photographs

A Murder of Crows

This morning I woke up hearing crows out my window. I know they’re loud, but they are so much more than just their volume. I’ve been interested in crows ever since I saw this remarkable PBS documentary.

CLICK HERE: A Murder of Crows PBS video

Crows are highly intelligent, social and community oriented.

Really, they are way cooler than you think.

You just might see crows differently if you learn more about them.

I certainly did.

I remembered an old painting of mine tucked behind paint cans in my basement. Here’s the original painting that was the basis for the other images.

“A Murder of Crows” 3′ x 3′, acrylic, 2010

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Here’s what I created from the original painting:

black cloth murder of crows lisa lillibridge

a murder of crows lillibridge

Live Science CROW FACTS LINK

“Crows are extremely intelligent birds. They are known for their problem-solving skills and amazing communication skills. For example, when a crow encounters a mean human, it will teach other crows how to identify the human. In fact, research shows that crows don’t forget a face.

Many types of crows are solitary, but they will often forage in groups. Others stay in large groups. A group of crows is called a murder. Murders of crows will ban together and chase predators in a behavior called mobbing. With some crow species, the yearlings and non-mating adults live in a group called a roosting community.”

crows land sections lillibridge

“It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.”   —Jean-Luc Godard   

Below are the other images I worked with. I took the photograph of Elizabeth Bunsen’s ecodyeing work. The painting was inspired by seeing sections of land when I fly home to South Dakota.

I love to layer and play with my photographs to create different worlds. I’m finding myself thinking/seeing in a very different way while I’m creating this digital collage work.

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a cold, gray day—dreaming of the beach

gray and cold dreaming of beach Lisa Lillibridge

I’ve been watching this great series on PBSThe Brain with David Eagleman. Our brains are quite capable of creating a parallel reality.  There’s an interesting example of an incarcerated man and how he was able to get through the darkness and loneliness of solitary confinement by creating another world.  Sometimes we just see what we want to see.

http://www.pbs.org/the-brain-with-david-eagleman/home/