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Lynn Silverman

Lynn Silverman

The experience of living in three different continents and cultures for most of my adult life has had a profound affect on the way I see the world. I left for Sydney, Australia almost immediately after graduating with a BFA in photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Originally I had planned to stay one year, but partly due to my attraction to the extraordinary landscape of the Australian desert, I ended up staying six years. The severity and seeming emptiness of the desert landscape was a challenge to photograph. The topography has none of the picturesque elements that one associates with landscape imagery. In the end, I realized that the choice of subject matter is only part of the game, and that like a surveyor, photographing is an orienting activity.

The act of photographing is discovering a series of relationships between you and the world. I love exploring the photographic frame as a process of inclusion and exclusion. It is also fascinating to see how editing a collection of photographs for an exhibition or book brings another kind of depth to a single image. During my sixteen years in England I photographed other subjects such as tabletops, clouds, light bulbs, and windows, using some of the strategies that I employed in Australia. Some of these situations and strategies continue to be of interest since I moved to the United States.

I have had the good fortune to work in several art schools, and the perspective gained from this is central to my interaction with students. For example, it was exciting to be part of the development of a new art school in Sydney. The exposure to a variety of teaching structures both here and abroad has given me a chance to observe how different programs handle the relationship between practice and theory. I continue to value the infinite number of responses that students bring to the classroom and how this impacts my own speculations as an artist and teacher.