I am eight years old. A new country, a new language, no friends. Our small house, one of many identical cubes lining the street, overlooks endless dunes stretching all the way to the sea. The backyard – a square patch of dry soil, one stolen onion plant fighting to survive under the bedroom window. Near the wall, the wooden crate that held our belongings serves as my playground.
Forty-five years later, a Jasmin scented climber crawls on the wooden roof of the freshly painted playhouse. I spread a handful of soil on photographic paper, watching the sun turn paper white into pinks, mauves, yellows, and browns. Behind me, in the vegetable patch, two rows of green onion leaves sway in the breeze. This garden, this soil, is not just something I love. It’s who I am. It holds yesterday’s memories and tomorrow’s promises – the lemon tree bursts with yellow, aromatic fruit, perfect for homemade limoncello. If life hands you lemons …
Under the blooming anemones lay two thousand years of Jewish history. This land is my dad’s resting place, one day it will be mine. “Generations come, and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” I hope so.
‘Adama,’ the title of this portfolio, is the Hebrew word for earth. Nestled within it, rests ‘Adam’ – in Hebrew – a human being. This portfolio is my way of embracing this land, acknowledging I am part of her and she is part of me. Each image started as a Lumen print created with sun, rain, earth as well as natural bits and bytes from the kitchen and the garden. Combined with fragments of digital photographs and scanned images each print becomes a story, a wish, a prayer.
May we respect, enjoy and protect this earth.
May it support and bring joy to our children, grandchildren and the generations to come. Amen.
“We see what we know until we know who we are, then we see what we feel.”
— Ernst Haas
The idea of visualizing the invisible is something I’ve been continuously exploring in my practice as an artist. I am drawn to what lies beyond the physical appearance of things, trying to capture “what else is there” as Minor White so beautifully put it.
I find the natural world endlessly inspiring and a rich source of metaphors as well as materials through which I can tell my story. Making the unseen seen has prompted experimentation with multiple photographic techniques: analog, digital, camera-less and combinations of darkroom and digital techniques. Always looking for new ways to visually express ideas, enjoying the creative process at least as much as its result.
For available prints and price please contact artist.
All my prints are editioned and signed on back.
Web address: http://www.amykankaphotography.com/
All images © Amy Kanka Valadarsky
An Edge of Humanity Magazine Project
CURATOR | Joelcy Kay