Jennifer Booher

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Jennifer Booher

Part artist, part scientist, part adventurer, and part magpie, I’m insatiably curious about the world, and particularly drawn to the coastal area between high- and low-tide. Still life photography enables me to explore complex relationships between human and non-human occupation of the intertidal zone while reveling in the textures and patterns of the objects I find.

Artist Statement

I live on Mount Desert Island, and I beachcomb all year round. Each photo in the Beachcombing series documents the things I found on a particular beach on a particular day: the title of each photo is the name of the beach and the date on which I found those objects. The crisp white background and the precise arrangements contrast with the odd shapes and rough textures, both highlighting the individuality of each object and unifying them all into a larger composition.

Originally I thought of these as abstract beach portraits and used them to articulate my curiosity about the things I was finding, and my growing understanding of the interconnected usage of the tidal zone. The ways humans use the shore, for industry and for pleasure, combined with the non-human ecosystems that meet and intertwine, and the migration of trash within the watershed and from the ocean all create layers on the shore that I try to explore in these photos.

Over time I’ve realized that for other people, a lot of the series’ appeal is nostalgia. When I really do capture the texture of a mussel or the color of a sea urchin, it’s a tactile reminder for viewers of their own days on the beach and the things they found. These photos, which begin as a record of my own exploration, become a vehicle for their memories. I hope that you, too, will be perplexed and bedazzled by the intricate web of usage. 

Jennifer Booher 12 months ago
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