Photographer and artist Christy Lee Rogers’ new work explores the human condition and spirit through the gravitationally bound structures of the universe, expanding on and transporting her already imposing vision, literally into the stratosphere. We sat down with her recently to ask some questions about her latest body of work Celestial Bodies.
How were you inspired to create the series? “I had been collecting ideas in my notebook all year, had my tickets booked for Hawaii, and still felt that uneasy nauseous feeling in my stomach when all the pieces are not yet there. It’s like a whirlwind in my mind, something that’s always been a part of my creative process. But one night I went to sleep, and in that hour before my mind shuts off, in that sweet spot of creativity, it came to me. The Universe, the stars, planets, nebulae, interstellar matter, water and the elements, our connection to it, our being a part of every molecule of it, the totality and wholeness of everything that makes us human. Anyway, from there I went crazy. It was very fulfilling and this relief came over me that night. And honestly, I don’t know exactly where that inspiration came from, except to say that I read everyday and am obsessed with understanding myself, others and this world around us.”
A portion of the photography collection is dedicated to Rogers’ interpretation of the dualistic nature of the universe. She explores the idea of the two opposing, yet complementary forces into which creative energy divides and whose fusion brings the phenomenal world into being, with double images that transport one in time and space into her classical yet futuristic world.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you first entered into the world of photography, what were your first little bits of excitement that drew you to the medium? “Photography first interested me in high school as a way to communicate what i couldn’t say with words, to be rebellious and to break away from all the pressures of school. But it felt so limited to reality until I started experimenting with water. That was like first love, and from there on I didn’t want to photograph anything else, I was hooked. The process was so demanding, raw and exhilarating and the images that I was capturing were like candy to me. I guess that’s how you know when somethings right.”
For over a decade Rogers has imagined elaborate scenes of otherworldly colours and entwined bodies that celebrate humankind’s vigor and warmth. She crafted her vision for by using models submerged underwater in deftly designed scenarios, photographed in her native home of Hawaii, that conjure the deepest depths of our world and at the same time the furthest reaches of space, in a profoundly human context.
This connection between water and space is explored in a way that shows the beauty, freedom and conversely the struggle and complexity of the human condition (a recurring motif in Rogers’ work). The two vast expanses (ocean and space) are juxtaposed, their order and chaos, and one’s feeling of being infinitesimal, yet feeling the wonder of being a part of the universe at large. These basic emotions that caused the Ancient Greeks and other past civilizations to compose myths to explain the awesome power and majesty of deep sea and space are at the core of Rogers’ Celestial Bodies.
August 6 through September 6, 2015
Opening Reception with Artist in Attendance – August 6, 2015 – 6 -9 PM