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Antarctica 1

Erika Senft Miller


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Antarctica 1

Antarctica 1' is part of my multimedia series 'Exploring Water'. I took this photo on an exploration on snow and water on and around the Antarctic Peninsula. These icebergs are awe inspiring, both in scale and complexity. They have never been touched by human hand and yet are sublime sculptural creations. These icebergs appear strong and sturdy, yet at any moment they could tilt or a large piece could break off, drastically changing their gestalt and their surroundings with that. A reminder of the impermanence of life.

21"H × 25"W × 1.25"D
Photo print


My work tells stories. In my visual work the medium picks me, so you’ll find these stories in a variety of media. Once the medium has found me, I open a dialogue with the materials. This conversation is always kinesthetic; it’s about breath, movement and the story held in the fiber of the material. The emotional core of the narrative that emerges includes both my direct experience and the stories of ancestors that live in our collective unconscious. When I create visual work, I get out of my way, slip into the zone and let what arrives work through me. I find it helpful to draw and paint with my non-dominant hand. Working with my left hand gives me direct access to something deeper and older. It’s a direct conduit to my youngest self, and to my really old self - which are fundamentally the same. When I work this way, my movement and expression become freer, more vital, less edited. As a result, my two dimensional art has layers. When a painting of mine is on your wall, you can feel the depth and layering of the piece. These strata invite you to enter the story, and make it possible for you to do so on many different levels. You can take different paths with your eyes each time you encounter the painting, and you can go as deep as you like. I fashion my work this way, so that it will continue to live as it stays with you, with your family and your visitors becoming part of the painting’s story.

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