The first group of images featured below is part of a project entitled What’s love got to do with it. Here’s Paula Riff‘s statement about that project:
I believe in love but it comes and goes. Like the falling of leaves, love often falls gently to the ground; at least that’s my experience. Marbling paper is also like love; you never really know what the pattern will look like, nor what the outcome will be. There is also a serendipitous moment as inks float on water to make a design that can be changed with the touch of a strand of hair or a gentle blowing. Then you add the sun to make a photogram – and love blooms once again in all its glory. There is something very visceral about coating paper and making photograms in the sun. It is a Zen-like experience where breathing and timing is everything. There is no going back and no changing the outcome. This project explores the range of emotions and ups and downs of relationships. Both processes of marbling and making photograms have elements of surprise and chance, very much like falling in and out of love. So love has everything to do with it.
The next group of images featured below belongs to a bigger project, conceived as a trilogy: A Concerto in Three Movements – Cosmos, Interlude & Earth. Here’s Paula Riff‘s statement about that project:
I cannot help but feel the tremendous weight of the passage of time and am constantly thinking about how much more or how much less of it there is. As a result, this series looks at the fragility and impermanence of the natural world. It is about mortality and how things change. It is also about our relationship to the earth, the tenuousness of beauty, and shift of the natural state of things.
This concerto, a piece for an orchestra with three contrasting movements, was conceived as a musical meditation for the passage of time through one’s life. It is this connection to the earth and the sun that allows us to somehow survive the varied stages and changes in our existence. I use leaves and bones, rocks and dust, as metaphors for these connecting but separate parts.
I am continually interested in testing the parameters of photography by using the natural world as my camera, instead of being bound by a single lens. These are camera-less images made by placing objects on hand marbled papers, which are then coated with light sensitive materials and exposed in the sun to make photograms. Like the earth, these images are bound to the inherent ways of nature as well as photography, dependent on light, the passage of time, and the inexplicable existence of human trial and error.