Cynthia Katz's work explores the fragility of life, and fleetingness of time in ordinary realms of (her) life. She attempts to explore ideas that hide beneath the surface of commonplace objects and experiences. She pays particular attention to layers, textures, patterns and light, and the imprint they leave. The role of transitions reflects Katz's interest in change, even while she attempts to uncover constancy and a moment of simplicity. Photography stops time, and preserves a resonant instant of flux in its search for clarity. The first light wakes her in the early hours of each morning. She is continually amazed at how even her sleeping self is conscious of light.
Slowing down to a pedestrian pace cultivates a more heightened awareness of the world around me. Daily walks to photograph have resulted in this ongoing series entitled "Occupied". I search out details and the unexpected in ordinary, human scaled landscapes, walking the same routes again and again, in an attempt to reveal visual elements that expose new meaning about the landscape. I am drawn to repetition constructed by human hands, (obsessions, habits), found text, and juxtapositions that reveal new understandings about our relationship to the environment. The patience that is often required of us as we go about our daily lives creates cycles that root our lives, and these are conflated as I photograph. I often find humor, or intrigue, where others merely were getting the job done. My interest in the human intersection with the landscape, whether consciously designed or by chance, encourages me to explore, and seek out both harmony and dissonance.
The Strata Series stems from my ongoing work with the Occupied Series, exploring how we attempt to create and control our environments. Here, I explore the formal(ist) tradition of creating abstraction through the photographic frame. I remember the critic Sidney Tillim saying upon seeing pictures of mine exhibited after graduate school: "Well, you always were a formalist". Guess so.
Cyanotypes, or blue prints, are a non-silver photographic process that go back to photography's origins in the 19th century. Also from these early days, the garden has been a source for imagery. Drawing on these themes, I mix my favorite chemical recipe and turn to my garden for the bulk of my summer imaging. Gardening and cyanotyping share a process-oriented approach that is slow and timely, ethereal, spiritual and ultimately ephemeral. Happy surprises, and the promise held by chance keep me at it, and failure propels me toward next year's possibilities, and new works. Each summer's garden is different; the same holds true for each cyanotype session.
Following my longstanding recycling habit, I began to play with the accumulated cyanotypes, cutting, stitching, and attempting to find ways to use the bits I liked. I experienced delight in the process of transforming the elements into new images, not unlike the experience of planting seeds each spring to mark the start of another garden season.