With the COVID-19 lockdown and stay at home orders through most of the Spring, Summer has arrived and it finds America outward bound on footpaths of parks, arboretums and public gardens. Many have even broken ground and started flower and vegetable gardens.
Beth Dow’s photo gallery is sympathetic with the urge to get out into a green world and public landscapes. It’s ironic how even the sculptures seem to practice social distancing and how inviting and safe an empty landscape can be.
We first published her work in GlobalPost as a Full Frame essay, check out her site to see some of her new photo projects.
These pictures were shot with hand-held medium format rangefinder and 35mm SLR cameras, printed by my husband Keith Taylor in platinum-palladium. These photographs were taken in formal English and Italian gardens. The shape and mystery of these places are a natural draw for me as they offer glimpses of the rich traditions of garden making. I am interested in garden history and historical concepts of paradise, and aim for pictures that have a meditative quality to reflect the spiritual urges that inspired the earliest gardens some six thousand years ago. My images are not depictive. I use the land before me as a jumping off point, implying light or shadow where perhaps there was none, as a way to create my own path through the garden. In fact, by positioning the lens, cropping my prints, and using burning and dodging to guide the viewer’s eye through a picture, I feel that I too am a gardener in a sense. I am after that “slant of curious light” that is the genius of a place.