These species dot our landscapes. They change the topography of our country and our planet. They alter the careful balance of nature and the world we are accustomed to living in. These plants modify the state of our world and the environment around us. As the world gets smaller, these foreign species take hold in new places and we must find a new way to approach them.Through these images, I seek to look upon this new life as a beautiful part of our changing world and seek to challenge the viewer to accept and look anew at this change.
At the age of nineteen, my mother was married with her first daughter; by twenty-six she had four more daughters, and by twenty-nine, she was on her own again. We were a family of mid-western, tough as nails, working class women. My mom grew our food in a small garden at the end of the driveway, and she made nearly all of our clothes. From her, I learned what a lady could be, and I was able to learn strength from and see beauty through the hardships in our lives.
Today, I am able to see these characteristics in the women around me. These women in my photographs act as surrogate self-portraits as their gaze through the camera lens acts as a mirror of a part of myself. In them, I see those idealized things that I have taken from my mother and those other resilient women I have known in my life as well as the time and place where they made their impact on me. Through them, I am able to question what makes a woman a lady.
The jam band subculture in America is a small niche of the American community. This subculture is marked by people of all backgrounds and types. Those who live within this community, better known as present day hippies, thrive on the energy of a communal experience revolving around music and improvisational bands like the Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, and the String Cheese Incident.
At a very young age I became entrenched within this community and the people who live this lifestyle. I was drawn to the sense of a utopian community and the simplicity of the people within it.
This series documents the people who I have met along my journey, the young archetypes of this culture, and the people as whole.
© Peggy Gentleman 2016