I did not set out to photograph a body of work about doors, it was a slow evolution that began with a trip to Israel and Jordan. I went to visit an old friend who moved to Tel Aviv, and we spent the first day wandering the city. Both of us foreigners, we were charmed by the amazing variety of exterior doors and I began photographing them because they were so interesting. There was a tremendous variety in age, states of repair, styles, colors, and I did not see many that were the same. The first photographs did not turn out very well- the sun was bright, the shadows hard, and I usually find it difficult to truly concentrate on photography when I am spending time with someone because they get bored of waiting for me.
When I explored on my own it was easier. I quickly realized that Tel Aviv does not have a monopoly on interesting doors, and I began to deliberately look for doors to photograph. Even then I was not thinking about turning the photos of the doors into a body of work; I just liked them. The old city of Jaffa was a maze of narrow streets and had lots of lovely reflected light. Jerusalem in the evening light was glorious. Jordan - especially Petra- was breathtaking.
Consider this: doors are a universal part of the experience of being human because everyone- regardless of age, race, gender, social status, or religion- uses them and have for thousands of years. It’s fascinating to think about who uses a particular door- what choices in their life led to the use of that door? What is their life like?
Doors are also symbolic of transition from one state of being to another; we all know the old adage “When one door closes, another opens.” Travel never fails to open new doors for me. I always come back from a trip with a deeper understanding of myself and the world. I like to see how other people and cultures live. I find the differences fascinating because they broaden my perspective, but the similarities in being human are what sticks with me.
This body of work is also symbolic of a transition from one state of being to another because it was a significant event in my development as an artist. Though I now have several bodies of work, this is the first one I put together as a cohesive whole, and with the intention of presenting to an audience wider than the classroom environment. I was given the space to do a solo exhibition, but it took a while to figure out what I would do with the space, and I needed the guidance of more experienced artists. It was a new level of commitment to my craft, and to myself. It was learning to do and say more with my work. I still make photographs for myself, and I still spend time playing and experimenting for no other reason than to have fun, but I am also learning to be more deliberate with what I want to say with my photographs.