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Wendy Denton: Camera As Conduit With The World

Wendy Denton FAMILY YLP Fire

Wendy Denton, Family

Wendy Denton
Sierra Art Trails 2015 Catalog #60

I learned photography in Germany in my early 20s. At first I was self-taught through books and a makeshift darkroom in my kitchen. I then used the darkroom in the Karlsruhe U.S. Army base. My love was black and white imagery, and my photographic activity was more or less my therapy.

When I moved back to the States and ended up in San Jose, I attended De Anza College.

Their photo department was then nationally known, and I am grateful for the quality instruction I received there – as well as the fellow students who were as alternative as I was and supported my less than mainstream interests.

Wendy Denton Dad at window #2

Wendy Denton, Dad at Window

I then worked at Custom Color Lab in Palo Alto as a master color printer, where I met other artists who were both wackier and more skilled.

Over the last 30+ years I have often used the camera as my conduit with the world, my way of connecting while remaining separate. My images have usually had intensely personal meaning, except for one rather bizarre departure into wedding photography that didn’t last long.

Wendy Denton Distorted dollhouse

Wendy Denton, Distorted Dollhouse

Today I am interested in the marginalized. My birds are often objects of discomfort for some because they are dead, and I found them along the side of roads. For me, photographing them is my tribute, my altar, to their presence in our lives.

My Holga images (toy, plastic camera) are of ruins, places that once held meaning for someone and now are collapsing under the weight of time.

My digital transfers are also of abandoned places, though these often have the feeling that someone just walked out one day and never came back. My Cancer Chronicles series documents the 18-month journey from my husband’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer to his death. I am currently working on a new series entitled The Seven Deadly Sins of Climate Change.

Wendy Denton Chandelier

Wendy Denton, Chandelier

The title of my Sierra Art Trails 2015 exhibit is Abandoned Places/ Distorted Memories. I examine what happens to the homes we leave behind, the parts of our lives that we have abandoned. These are the places I photograph. In a visual conversation with these places are scenes from the abandoned doll house of my childhood, scenes that are distorted by memory and interpretation.

I invite visitors to step back in time to a place of beauty and imagination in my newly constructed “old, abandoned place” of exhibit, a booth constructed from the many found objects near the houses I photograph. I am Artist #60 in the Art Trails catalogue.

Images and biography submitted by the artist.

Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour is Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 2, 3 and 4, 2015.

Click here to order catalog and attend

For more features and artists profiles on Sierra Art Trails go to SNO’s special section

Shows: De Anza College student art show, Pacific Grove Art League, Mariposa Art Show, The Store (Napa), Sierra Art Trails, Los Pajaros (Pajaro Valley Arts Council Gallery exhibit of bird inspired art, Watsonville), Mi Casa es Tu Casa (Pajaro Valley Arts Council Day of the Dead exhibition, Watsonville), Freeze Frame winter art show, Oakhurst, The Cancer Chronicles, Sorensen Studios, Fresno.

About Kellie Flanagan

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