Totem Portfolio

  • Totem 11 (Helmet), one of only several horizontal Totems, has three images united not only by a compositional sphere in each of the three images, but to me through its representations of land (the helmet), sky (the clouds), and water (a satellite dish atop a boat on a river).
  • Totem 23 (Balloons) has three images – balloons, high-rise housing, and ceiling lighting that together comment on urban density and life in modern society in the U.S.
  • Totem 24 (Glass) has symbols of travel (a jet plane) at the top, dining (a glass on a restaurant table) in the center, and nightlife (traffic, a taxi, bright lights, and pedestrians) at the bottom, representing aspects of modern life
  • Totem 25 (Head) has three images from Vancouver, B.C. All point skyward – the top of a beautiful and traditional totem pole, the head of a young man in the city center, and the curving staircase of a high-dive platform in a beautiful cloudy sky.
  • Totem 27 (Liberty) alludes to privacy in our contemporary society. A symbol of liberty is at the top, a symbol of light and possible surveillance is in the center, and a symbol of government is at the bottom.
  • Totem 28 (Memory) speaks of memory, with the hand of my mother, now 82, with Alzheimer’s, in the center, a “memory machine” in the Alzheimer’s wing of an assisted living facility at the top, and an ancient tree in a now-modern suburb at the bottom.
  • Totem 44 (Bellflower) has two images in an ethereal fog, one of a house, representing society, and one of a forest, representing nature. In between is an image of a beautiful but poisonous flower. I was attracted to the flower to photograph, but cautioned not to touch it by a bystander.
  • In Totem 47 (Page) the top image shows my hand holding pages of text about artist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), one of the last two living original surrealists, who inspired me. I enjoyed talking by phone with her each year from 2001 to 2011. Above the page with the text is a cloud shaped like a flame. The center image shows a pastoral scene of grass and high clouds symbolizing peace/serenity. The lower image shows light breaking through dense artistic clouds.
  • Totem 49 (Perch) shows a dog looking forward peacefully on a beach, a bin of fish destined to be food, and a fisherman on a jetty above a driftwood piece with the design of a face, with the three together commenting on life and transcendence.
  • Totem 50 (Flower) has a top image with a farm scene and glowing cloud, a center image of a close-up of a beautiful sunflower, and a bottom image showing dozens of tires gently holding down a mound of unknown material under a tarp.
  • Totem 45 (Boat) is comprised of three images taken there. The top image, part of a boat, looks like a smiling porpoise. The bottom image, a life boat, seems like a large-eyed fish. The center image appears to have a spirit figure hovering near a ladder in the midst of boat rigging. The three are all nautical images, but can signify different things to different people.
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