Featured Artist: Barbara Boissevain
Photographers Barbara Boissevain, Charlotta María Hauksdóttir and Victoria Mara Heilweil recontextualized urban and natural landscapes in their shared room at stARTup SF 2018.
Barbara's aerial abstractions uncover the evidence of toxicity that is normally hidden from the ground. We just had to know more.
We sat down with Barbara and asked a few questions:
1. Why do you make your work?
Through my work I am interested in highlighting environmental issues that are relevant to the residents of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. I am also hoping to promote nature conservation through documenting positive examples of environmental stewardship, such as the "Salt Pond Restoration Project." I have been photographing this project from the air since 2010, and love sharing with my viewers the amazing transformation that is taking place in our bay as the salt ponds go back to natural wetlands.
2. How did you choose or land on the mediums you use now?
I started out as a painter, then migrated into photography as it is a medium that allows me to find ways to engage with the world in surprising and creative ways.
SALT POND NO. I SALT POND RESTORATION NO. VIII
Photograph on Paper Photograph on Paper
3. What are you presently inspired by?
I am inspired by natural systems that include tidal, forest and desert ecosystems that contain incredible textures, patterns and color!
4. Other than your art practice, what other work do you do?
I am a photography instructor and professor.
5. What are your current artistic influences?
Vik Muniz, Ai Weiwei and Sebastiao Salgado.
6. What’s your least favorite color?
There is a fleshy peach color I once painted a bathroom that gives me the willies!
7. Do you have any upcoming events?
Two artist residencies that I will be doing this Summer for a total of seven weeks in France. The first is the "La Maison Verte" artist residency that provides artists the opportunity to further their work focusing on ecological and environmental issues. The residency is in Marnay sur Seine and is on the grounds of a jardin botanique for the artists to explore and inspire their environmental work. The second artist residency, Galerie Huit Arles, is situated in a late 17th century mansion, in the historical town centre of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arles, France. During these residencies I will be continue working on my series titled "The Trees Will Outlive Us" where I find human structures that are abandoned and where natural systems are taking hold. I then create imaginary futures for these relinquished sites.
You can shop Barbara's latest photographs on Artfinder where you'll also many more works by stARTup artists.
Find her on Instagram: @barbaraboissevain
Q&A by Content Curator Mica England