Today, we are publishing our twentieth interview in our new series, Hope in Adversity. One that’s based around art, artists and isolation during the midst of Covid-19. This interview is with award winning mobile photographer with Catherine Caddigan from the United States. Caddigan reminds us that the qualitative experience behind each individual’s existence during lockdown 2020 can be so different. We all have much to learn about quite how unique each one of us is in the lockdown reality in which we find ourselves today. Enjoy!
To read others in this series of interviews with Jill Lian, Vicki Cooper, Gerry Coe, Sarah Bichachi, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Phyllis Shenny, Alisa Smith Williams, Joy Barry, Fleur Schim, Fiona Christian, Peter Wilkin, Ile Mont, Lynette Sheppard, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Rob Pearson-Wright and Susan Latty, please follow this link
If you are social distancing or social isolating at this time, are you using any additional time you may have to create mobile digital art or photography?
Yes I am social distancing, my job has been suspended because it involves transporting kids to school (I’m a retired graphic designer) so I have extra time. I try hard to spend time creating on my iPad Pro, but I have also taken the time to try to learn new apps, both for processing and shooting and new techniques. I have even begun to create videos. I am still using my self as a subject, but only as a way to talk about the bigger picture in the world today. One thing I set out to do this year in my New Year Resolution was to create a series, more than work on individual pieces, and I think that is where I am headed.
If so, have you noticed the style of art that you’re creating changing from what you would normally create?
Somewhat, I see more concentration on the process, the steps I take, that way I can hopefully go back and recreate what I have done. My subject is mostly myself, though I used to use other people’s portraits I cannot get together with people to photograph them at this point. I am making an effort to express feelings as apposed to ideas. I find my subject is often about women and how I, in particular, feel about my role as one, and my image as a woman. As far as the stories I create, I think that the “stay at home” mandate has found it’s way into the images I produce.
If yes, to the above, can you explain how your art has changed?
I begin with subject matter from my camera, mostly newly created, and as I used to. Formerly I was driven mostly by process letting the piece (and the story) develop as I worked. Now, I select imagery and have some idea about what I am going to say. Now things are more about the forest and less about the individual tree. I hope that makes at least a little sense.
Have you found additional inspiration to create at this time?
Yes, definitely. First, I am helping to take care of my 90 year old mother-in-law who has had to move in with us after the death of her son, my husband’s twin. I am human and this is fraught with tension, as I try to deal with all the other anxiety in the world. I see the world as frightening, with people seemingly so self-consumed with their own well being, and cut off from their humanity. Or being totally careless, and not concerned with their effect on those around them.
And yet through all of this there is so much good. From the Doctor’s researching a cure, to the nurses to the local grocery store clerk. I can cry sometimes at how selfless so many are, and what a contrast. Reading Laurie Amerson’s praise of teenagers on her FB page brought into sharp focus that we, all of our modern culture is being globally threatened and it is necessary for us to survive to cooperate. Something our modern society is not used to. There is such a myriad of material if we pay attention.
Is creating mobile digital art/photography, helping you at this time specially, how and why?
Absolutely. My sleep patterns are somewhat disrupted by stress and uncertainty, and there is time to fill, as I have tried to stop watching too much news on TV. I use my iPad as late at 3am sometimes, and during the day I go to a small empty room and set up a tripod and shoot, practicing new techniques and gathering new imagery. All this has a calming affect, something I am seeking at all the time these days.
Do you feel that sharing mobile art/photography at this time is spreading a unity of peace?
I do. I have always thought that about the mobile art community but especially now. First it has a huge virtual presence – something other art venues are playing catch-up with, but mostly it can reach so many, among ourselves and the larger art world. It lends itself to sharing on a person to person basis, and within a community context. I am so impressed with your efforts Joanne, and TheAppwhisperer, and I feel so honored to be a part of the community you have built and continue to advance on behalf of mobile artists. You have encouraged so many, and so many have taken up the torch for mobile photography I can’t possibly name them. The images I see coming from this community are powerful statements about the state of the world – and each of our own psyches (which amount to a microcosm of the world itself)
Anything else you would personally like to add…
I want to say that this is an overwhelming time for me, as it is for so many others. Being kind is the greatest thing we can do right now. This is a reminder to myself as well as an observation, because in the climate of anxiety we can forget. (I can forget) This can be hard work sometimes, but we need to pursue it. We should keep in mind that we are all traveling together. I continue to try to make images that speak to me and I hope to others about all the aspects of this unprecedented time we are experiencing now. Many artists and people in general propose to keep things positive, for our own sanity, which has it’s place, but I feel more comfortable with a realistic look at our environment today. I can’t thank you enough Joanne, I am honored that you have invited me to share with a group I feel at home within this trying time.
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