Tag Archives: love

Kickstarter 84% funded! 5 days to go! Please back this important project about domestic violence.

We have just hit 200 backers with 5 days to go and 84% funded! Please take 4 minutes and watch my video.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/236716023/he-threw-the-last-punch-too-hard/

This project is about domestic violence, mother-daughter reconciliation, forgiveness, compassion, family and hope.

Daniel Milnor wrote an eloquent blog about photographers helping other photographers. It’s the basis of why we are all here, not just all artists but all humans. There is more to life than eating, sleeping, working and vacation. We are meant to reach out and touch each other.

http://shifter.media/create-hannah-kozak/

There have been so many angels helping back this campaign. We couldn’t do this without all of your support and belief. I believe that the photographers job is to reveal the truth, even if it’s not the most popular subject. I immerse myself for years at a time with dedication to my photography and cannot pretend for the sake of protecting family secrets.  We must uncover truths especially if it’s sad because our job as artists to help others feel.  I’m not afraid to be a truth sayer. Photography is a journey of self discovery and at the same time, helping others.

I am partnering with FotoEvidence, who has created 24 photography books documenting social injustice. From their website:

3 January 2017

2 May 2016

4 July 2016

“FotoEvidence Women is a new chapter of FotoEvidence Press, a space for free expression, devoted to engaged women photographers who want to tell their stories in the form of a photo book. Though their lenses women can shape the world differently and we want to give them this chance. “


Introducing Book Project: He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard

I’m grateful to announce that my ten year project on my mother, has a publisher. This has been a 10 year journey of writing and photographing her. In the process it began a reconciliation of a mother-daughter relationship after domestic violence, as well as a story of forgiveness and compassion.

Please have a look at my short video:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/236716023/he-threw-the-last-punch-too-hard/

We have 32 days to back the project! Please help us make this come true!

From my 10 year project, He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard.


My Mother’s Dolls part 3

My Mother’s Dolls part 3

This project began organically in December 2009 as a way for me to get to know the mother I truly never knew. The camera brought me connection and separation, all at once. I was given the gift of intuitive observance and another gift of recording that observance. I learned to be bold and vulnerable simultaneously. Eight years later, I am continuing my photo essay on my mother called He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard. It’s as if the project took on a life of its own once I started. I sometimes wonder if genetic memory of being a second-generation Holocaust survivor triggered my need not only to recognize but also to spend years of my life creating photos, editing those photos and turning this project into a book, to help tell this story of a social injustice — domestic violence — about which more stories need to be told.

I dreaded being indiscreet, but invading my mother’s and my privacy was the only way to tell this story. I am sharing my mother with the larger audience because eventually publishing a book on her story would be a small victory. She instills such hope in me. I am witness to her heart and her immense reservoir of compassion for humanity. Her entire being is imbued with the quiet principles of spirituality: living in the moment, being non judgmental, forgiving, and kind.

My father used to tell me that what happened to his family and the Jews in Europe in World War II could easily happen again. So I question everything and that’s part of my storytelling aim as a photographer: questioning and sharing. We are only here for a short time so part of my goal is to create something positive for humanity. I love photography because each person will interpret an image through their own individual eyes. Ernest Hemingway said we should write hard and clear about what hurts. I believe this translates to all art forms. This blog is part three of My Mother’s Dolls. It’s an edit of my mother with various dolls she loves, that keep her company day and night.

© hannah kozak

May 16, 2014

© hannah kozak

26 May 2014

© hannah kozak

23 Nov 2014

© hannah kozak

8 December 2014

© hannah kozak

8 March 2015

© hannah kozak

4 April 2015
After moving into new facility.

@ hannah kozak

17 April 2015

@ hannah kozak

23 April 2015
With Olivia and baby Olivia

@ hannah kozak

13 June 2015

@ hannah kozak

14 June 2015

@ hannah kozak

19 June 2015

@ hannah kozak

22 June 2015

@ hannah kozak

12 July 2015

@ hannah kozak

12 July 2015

@ hannah kozak

22 July 2015

As a bittersweet sidenote, I was awarded the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, 6th Edition, 1st Prize – single Documentary photo from my series on my mother —
He Threw the Last Punch Too Hard.

This project also made it to the finalists for the CDS/Honickman, Duke University 1st Book Prize in Photography 2014.http://firstbookprizephoto.com/hannah-kozak-2014-finalist/

And, this project make it to semi-finalists for the CDS/Honickman, Duke University 1st Book Prize in Photography, 2016.

Early this week I asked my mother what she does every night. She said “I pray to G-d to help me.” “To help me with happiness, I don’t know how to explain.” And then she said “The hardest part of my life is accepting things.” “I want to be like you, Hannah. I want to walk.”

My Mother’s Dolls part 3


Favorite love songs, artists and inspirations

HannahKozak_love

My favorite photographers:

Diane Arbus ( 1923-1971)

Pronounced Dee-Ann, She was a privileged child, raised with her two siblings in large apartments on Central Park West and Park Avenue. She later told Studs Terkel, for his Hard Times: An Oral History of the Depression , “I grew up feeling immune and exempt from circumstance. One of the things I suffered from was that I never felt adversity. I was confirmed in a sense of unreality.” I think her work is still problematic for many because she crossed boundaries by making friends and photographing “freaks.”

Diane ArbusChild-with-a-toy-grenade-in-Central-Park-NYC-1962-C-The-Estate-of-Diane-Arbus-582x584

Ruth Bernard (1905-2006)

There is no finer photographer of the female nude. When she met Edward Weston on the beach in Santa Monica, she was overwhelmed by his photos and said “Here before me was indisputable evidence of what I had thought possible – an intensely vital artist whose medium was photography. ”

Ruth Bernhard -  Classic Torso with hands - 1952

Ruth Bernhard – Classic Torso with hands – 1952

Ruth Bernhard - In The Box- Horizontal , 1962

Ruth Bernhard – In The Box- Horizontal , 1962

Francesca Woodman (1958-1981)

Her career was brief but extraordinary. Born to a family of artists, she started photographing at the age of 13. She worked in black and white, frequently made self-portraits, or other young women, nude. What’s astonishing is she completed nearly all the work in her catalogue as a student.  After living in Rome, Rhode Island and New York, she felt her art wasn’t being taken seriously and her boyfriend broke up with her. Woodman committed suicide at the age of 22.

Francesca Woodman, Rhode Island

Francesca Woodman, Rhode Island

Francesca Woodman - House #3, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976

Francesca Woodman – House #3, Providence, Rhode Island, 1976

Melvin Sokolsky

Melvin was creating inventive photographs that boggled the mind, long before Photoshop existed.  He floated models down the Reine,creating The Bubble Series for Harpers Bazaar magazine in 1963.He suspended the models with a crane using an eight-inch aircraft cable and tested models to see who he could hang. He reminds me of some of the good stunt coordinators I worked for over the years.  The first time I saw his photos, I stopped dead in my tracks at A & I Photo.

Melvin Sokolsky-Bubble on the Seine

Melvin Sokolsky-Bubble on the Seine

My favorite artists:

Robert Cardinal

I fell in love with the simplicity of his paintings the first time I visited Cape Cod. Just like a good photographer, Robert searches for the light and usually paints at sunrise or sunset. His paintings have been described as Edward Hopper gone color ballistic. I love his skies of purples and oranges, isolated beaches, and lonely Cape homes.

Robert Cardinal - Stage Harbor Light - 30" x 20"

Robert Cardinal – Dory at Pamet, 11″ x 14″

Robert Cardinal - Beach Cottages - 10" x 20"

Robert Cardinal – Beach Cottages – 10″ x 20″

Robert Cardinal - Stage Harbor Light - 30" x 20"

Robert Cardinal – Stage Harbor Light – 30″ x 20″

Mark Ryden

His art is beautiful, while aiming at darker psychic stuff beneath the surface of cultural kitsch. He’s been called the godfather of pop surrealism,  inspired by old toys, stuffed animals, skeletons, and religious ephemera found in flea markets. Michael Jackson commissioned Mark to create the cover for his 1991 Dangerous album.

Mark Ryden -Blood

Mark Ryden – Blood – 2005 – oil on board

Michael Jackson-Dangerous by Mark Ryden

Michael Jackson-Dangerous by Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden -Dead_Characters

Mark Ryden – Dead Characters – 1997- oil on panel

Remedios Varo (1908-1963)

Born in Spain and died in Mexico. Spanish-Mexican surrealist painter and anarchist. I think she is one of the greatest artists in the 20th century along with Leonora Carrington.

Remedios Varo- Creation of the Birds

Remidios Varo: Creation of the Birds

I especially like the violin hanging where her heart should be.

remedios_varo_Revelation of the Clockmaker, 1955

Remedios Varo- Revelations or The Clockmaker, 1955

Leonora Carrington (1917-2011)

led a life almost as surreal as her art. Born in England, she was expelled from two schools for rebellious behavior, my kind of girl. She saw her first surrealist painting in a Left Bank gallery when she was ten years old. Even though she found little encouragement from her family to forge an artistic career, a curator at Tate Modern, helped to champion her work through Edward James, who arranged a show of her work. She saw Max Ernst’s work and was attracted to him before she actually met him. Not only did they collaborate on sculptures to decorate their home, they supported each other’s artistic development. Sounds like a dream relationship to me. Unfortunately Ernst was arrested during the Nazi occupation of France and after escaping, Peggy Guggenheim arranged for him to come to America. Carrington was so devastated by his arrest that she had paralyzing breakdowns and was institutionalized for three years. After Ernst married Guggenheim, Carrington wrote a book called Down Below, about the events of her psychotic experience. From painting to writing, all art is healing.

Leonora Carrington -Self portrait

Leonora Carrington – Self Portrait

Leonora Carrington_Adieu Ammenotep

Leonora Carrington – Adieu Amenhotep, 1955

In this piece four priestess perform a surgery on a levitating Amenhotep (the first monotheistic pharaoh) whose wound is in the shape of  a lotus flower. Men wearing priests’ hats sit in the gallery to watch the performance. The compasses along the box signify a magic transformation. The dish in the foreground, which is presumably used to collect an extracted organ, contains a small lizard.

Carrington believed that monotheism was the root of a patriarchal society, thus the priestesses are extracting that root through a magical surgery. In her later years Carrington wrote that “a woman shouldn’t have to demand rights. The rights were there from the beginning, they must be taken back again, including the mysteries which were ours and which were violated, stolen or destroyed.”

Leonora Carrington_kron flower 1987

Kron Flower – Carrington understood that women were to maintain your youth at all costs’ meaning maintain your sexual desirability at all costs. But then she ruthlessly mocks those women who cannot resist the shame-inducing admonitions of the culture and feel the need for excessive make-up, a face-lift or to still dress in tight, provocative clothing.

Frida Kahlo  (1907-1954)

I love Frida because she transformed her suffering and pain into remarkable art. She is best known for her self portraits and said “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.” While it is easier to hide, it has been widely accepted that an artists’ best work is his or her most personal. Frida was not scared about showing her pain, soul, and fears in her art. Every great artist comes bearing the gift of their soul.

the-suicide-of-dorothy-hale-1938_39

Frida Kahlo – The Suicide of Dorothy Hale – 1938/1939

This is one of Frida’s most shocking and controversial paintings.  Dorothy Hale was an aspiring actress who was unable to find work and left financially dependent on her wealthy friends after her husband’s death. She killed herself by jumping off a New York city building. Clare Boothe Luce requested a painting for Dorothy Hale’s mother. Hale was known to have said “I would not have requested such a gory picture of my worst enemy, much less of my unfortunate friend. Kahlo painted actress Dorothy Hale not only as she jumped but fell, and landed, dead and bloody on the concrete walk outside her apartment building. The blood-red lettering at the bottom of the retablo details the tragedy in Spanish. Luce’s response was to destroy the painting but her friends dissuaded her. What Luce didn’t know was that at the time that Kahlo painted this, she was in a desperate state of mind over losing Diego and was having repeated thoughts of committing suicide.

My favorite artist ever:

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Michael’s calling was clear. He would dance to the rhythm of the rickety Maytag washing machine when he was on the floor wearing his diaper and holding his little bottle. His art beckoned him and whether it was putting pen to paper, a song to the ethers, his brush to a palette or his feet to dancing, he had no choice. His passion called him and he listened in return. He put his soul out there and was courageous about his art because he believed his gift came from G-d.  The soul of art is the art of soul. Here is a video by a fan who puts together MJ videos and does the finest job of remixing videos that I’ve seen. Yes, that’s Sheryl Crow at 1:32!

Hannah Kozak - Inspiration 1

© hannah kozak – Inspiration 1

hannah kozak - inspiration 2

© hannah kozak – inspiration 2

My favorite love songs

1. You’re Just Too Good To Be True – Lauryn Hill

2. Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams

3. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

4. To Have and Not To Hold – Madonna

5. Nobody – Kate Earl

6. All In Love Is Fair – Stevie Wonder

7. You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me- Gladys Knight

8. Anyone Who Had a Heart -Shelby Lynne

9. Soul Mate -Natasha Bedingfield

10. I’ll Be Near You – Ivy

11. Looking For The Right One – Art Garfunkle

12. You’re the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White

13. Could It Be I’m Falling In Love – The Spinners

14. If I Were Your Woman – Gladys Knight

15. When You Really Love Someone – Alicia Keys

16. Fall Again – Michael Jackson

Content individually copyrighted by each photographer.

Man’s truth lies in what he hides.

–Andre Malraux


A View from my lens

Listen – are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

-Mary Oliver

Yes, I’m still alive. I had a magical Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was with my two closest friends on the planet. It was pure mind blowing happiness making food, laughing, and being in each other’s presence. L.O.V.E.

In the meantime, I love this quote from Mary Oliver and I love peonies. Oliver reminds me to find the beauty in a single peony.  There are multiple versions as to the meaning of the peony flower. One legend is that the peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), who was the physician to the gods, and was given the flower on Mount Olympus from the mother of Apollo. Paeon was a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing.  Another legend is that same doctor was saved from dying by being turned into the peony because Asclepius became jealous of his pupil. What’s with jealousy? I mean,  Othello strangled Desdemona because of that scarf that Iago planted, right?

Personally I love peonies because they are constantly changing, just like we are. Really they are never the same twice. They are closed and tight when you first get them, then they open and you get red flowers. They close up at night and then you have pink or white and it’s the flower that keeps giving. Peonies last over a week, sometimes ten days. They are so special they are only in season a short time. Symbolizing a happy life, happy marriage, good health and prosperity, my most favorite part of peonies is they symbolize compassion. I give them to people I love.

Dead Poets Society


Michael Jackson: With a Child’s Heart

Let me get this straight. We were supposed to believe a fully sedated man sat up in bed while his doctor, who was being paid $150,000 nuts a month was out of the room while Michael prepared a complicated injection for himself because he was suicidal?Ch’mon. Propofol is injected via slow drip, not just by jabbing a needle in your arm.  Michael killing himself wasn’t going to fly. That’s not a viable line of defense. Or as Dr. Shafer explained at the trial. “People don’t just wake up from anesthesia hell-bent to pick up a syringe and pump it into the IV, It’s a crazy scenario” as he explained how complicated the procedure was. And that is part of why Conrad Murray has been sentenced to four years in custody for the death of Michael Jackson.

Here is a rap re-mix of MJ’s Monster by Bigspookloc and the lyrics by Justice4MJ, which is organized by Erin Jacobs and Amy Kimes, who have rallied and organized fans around the world. I love the passion of MJ fans. They write songs, show support with signs, organize banners, travel internationally to see where Michael lived.

Murray’s defense kept crumbling. If he was trying to ween Jackson off propofol, why did he order 4 gallons? Murray was so grossly negligent, it is criminal. If Murray really was a friend to Michael as he stated he was, he would have enlisted help so Michael could sleep. Friends don’t let friends use propofol.

Thank G-d for the testimony of propofol expert Dr. Shafer. Two doctors who evaluated Murray’s conduct for the California Medical Board gave the following quotes.  Dr. Nathan Kamangar described Murray’s conduct as “unethical, disturbing and beyond comprehension.” Dr. Alon Steinberg enumerated deviations from the standard of care and said “if all of these deviations didn’t happen, Michael Jackson might have been alive.”

Here are some photos from the courthouse today.

Jackie Papier from Redondo Beach said “the day I’m celebrating is when the sentencing came down. I’m happy for the prosecution.” She created this t-shirt which she sells and gives the proceeds to two of Michael’s charities: Center for Apes & Unicef.

Jackie Papier

Taaj Malik is a treasure who has been fighting relentlessly for years on behalf on Michael Jackson with dedication and devotion. She fought to make sure that Michael’s charity would continue as he wanted. I love Taaj, she never, ever backs down.

Taaj Malik

When you are being paid to monitor your patient and keep him alive you don’t diddle daddle in another room while patient is on a slow drip of propofol. How about the fact that propofol was being fueled into Michael’s veins even after he was dead?

Randy Jackson

Jermaine Jackson

Jackson signed up for a concert tour, he was in rehearsals and yes, he was filled with anxiety. Who wouldn’t be? The coroner’s report clearly stated his body had no signs of substance abuse. Here is what one of the people who treated him during the first half of ’09 said:

“He wasn’t looking to get high or feel good and sedated from drugs,” she said. “This was a person who was not on drugs. This was a person who was seeking help, desperately, to get some sleep, to get some rest.”

When will the travesty against this man end?  The lack of humanity was stunning. Murray violated every standard of care while operating outside his area of speciality. No monitoring equipment, delayed calling 911, a botch job on CPR, hiding evidence, lying to paramedics, lying to UCLA doctors, and injecting MJ with a lethal dose of propofol. Not to mention shipping propofol to his girlfriends’s house. Talk about a non-existant morality. His hubris and lack of regard for Jackson cost his life. Oh, and tape recording Michael in the privacy of his own home, his own bedroom. What was Murray planning to do with that?

His story changed four times at the last count. I find it deplorable that Murray’s defense was banking on twenty years of lies, false accusations, skewed stories and sheer brutalization. Maybe when Murray goes to jail, his lying lawyers can visit him with some sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and maybe twenty-five mg of  propofol.

This trial began long ago not June 25, 2009. It began in 1993 when Evan Chandler blackmailed MJ for twenty million. When he didn’t get what he want, he sought to destroy MJ. MJ was the victim of a 21st century lynching while the media loved the news and the scandal.  Thomas Sneddon, the vindictive DA of Santa Barbara, was crazed in his desire to destroy MJ. MJ was victimized twice, Conrad Murray ran for 3rd base and hit Michael right out of the park.

The lies continued when Gavin Arvizo’s desperate mother Janet decided to come up with the preposterous tale that MJ molested her cancer stricken son. Since when did character assassination become part of a trial? This is what MJ lived with and died with. When will we learn the lessons. We need to stop blaming the victim.

MJ was known to have insomnia when he toured. His stress levels were on overload. How about if Murray told the truth about this talented philanthropist and entertainer. The defense wanted to slice the pie and hand out pieces of blame. Conrad Murray baked the pie and he overcooked it forty-seven minutes too late while he was on the phone. Oh, and propofol is only usable for twenty four hours after it has been opened or punctured. How about the fact there were open propofol bottles all over MJ’s bedroom?

The media doesn’t reflect the facts. When it comes to Michael Jackson, it is about profit and always has been. Propofol should never be administered in any setting other than a hospital with life saving monitoring equipment not some quack sitting by texting and calling girlfriend(s). Since when do you put someone under anesthesia and then gab on the phone?

I think of most people as balls. We see balls bounce and roll around. They’re resilient, mostly predictable and, no matter what angle you look at them from, they always look the same. But occasionally, we see a person who is an egg. Those are the extraordinary people. To the many balls, the few eggs look and behave oddly, and they clearly are not their kind and don’t fit in. Some of us are ordinary, conforming, uniform balls and others have no choice to reach in search of our limits and, as a result, stretch ourselves out of shape into eggs.

It’s apparent Michael was an egg. There is something about all that stretching that seems to make eggs fragile. If you throw them onto the floor or up against a wall, you can be sure they are going to break. We all know that. America was determined to break Michael Jackson into little tiny pieces. Then the media was focused on MJ sleeping with a doll for more media sensationalism during this trial. When will American media obsession with journalism of personal destruction stop?

We have waited so long for this trial. Did justice prevail? Michael Jackson meant so much to me, not only as an artist but as someone who cared about humanity. He cared about our planet, he cared about children, he simply cared. His neglected childhood would be the catalyst to the makings of a complex man. I think Michael was always a child at heart.  As far as MJ being strange, I applaud his unique ways. Aberrant, abnormal, astonishing, astounding, atypical, bizarre, curious, different, eccentric, erratic, exceptional, extraordinary, fantastic, far-out, funny, idiosyncratic, inexperienced, irregular, marvelous, mystifying, new, newfangled, odd, oddball, off, offbeat, out-of-the-­way, outlandish, peculiar, perplexing, quaint, queer, rare, remarkable, singular, unaccounta­ble, unaccustomed, uncanny, uncommon, unheard of, unseasoned, unusual, weird, wonderful.

Being different was nothing to be ashamed of. He had a pure heart and he was able to reach people emotionally with his unique gift from G-d. He was among the kindest souls to ever walk the planet which is why so many loved him. With A Child’s Heart is one of my favorite songs. It was Michael Jackson’s anthem and it was what he lived. A child’s heart sees no danger, hatred, sadness, or prejudice, but rather love, peace, and unity. Heavy was the head that wore his crown. He carried a lot of pain, disappointment and sheer loneliness that seemed to plague his heart his entire life.

Michael was a mirror, mirrors always show us the truth whether we want to see it or not. It’s too scary for most of us to look at ourselves so we spend time bashing someone we never knew. MJ had nothing but pure love and goodwill in his kind heart and never hurt a soul. America met him with judgment, resentment, deceit, lies, bigotry, hypocrisy. Why?  Because he didn’t womanize instead he preferred being around children and animals.He brought beauty and joy to our world.  I would have loved to have been friends with him. Climbing trees, water fights, Disneyland, playing with animals, watching movies. Yes, if that is odd, then I’m on board with the odd train. Troubled soul? Half our planet is filled with troubled souls. Myriads of us walking around day after day but we don’t have the media dropping the ball on our every move. Of course, half the planet took the gossip and dirt and ran with it. Oh, and by the way, I sleep with a doll.

With A Child’s Heart

Go face the worries of the day

With a child’s heart

Turn each problem into play

No need to worry no need to fear

Just being alive makes it all so very clear

With a child’s heart

Nothing can ever get you down

With a child’s heart

You’ve got no reason to frown

Love is as welcome

As a sunny sunny day

No grown-up thoughts

To lead our hearts astray

Take life easy, so easy nice and easy

Like a child so gay and so carefree

The whole world smiles with you

As you go your merry way

Oh with a child’s heart

Nothing’s gonna get me down


Marta Soul / Amy Ross at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles

Idillios is the spanish lyrical word for romances. That was enough to intrigue me. Marta Soul’s new series opened at Kopeikin’s Gallery on Saturday night, October 29, 2011. A nice size crowd was milling inside his gallery and a steady stream of people kept entering. I love when angelenos come out to see new art.  Soul’s photos are a series of the same woman in a passionate kiss, (her alter ego) with a different man in various settings.


As Anne Sexton was the modern model of confessional poetry where she artfully conveyed and challenged roles with her poetry, Soul’s photos express how society hands us rules and roles for our identity, sexuality, culture & appearance along with the parts we play in relationship. Sexton wrote that we are supposed to meet Prince Charming, marry, have 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and live happily ever after. Sexton had the courage to admit she wasn’t happy with her roles in an era when these subjects were not discussed in poetic discourse. Sexton re-wrote her versions of Grimm’s fairytales in her twisted, grim book of poetry called Transformations.  Soul’s photos challenge us with questions, which is what good photography does. Soul appears to question that in order to find happiness and remain attractive, there must be constant change. How do you keep the love alive?

Marta Soul was born and lives in Madrid, Spain. The show will be at Paul Kopeiken’s gallery from October 29 – December 24, 2011. Marta Soul is a founding member of NOPHOTO, a collective of contemporary Spanish photographers.

Marta’s website:

http://martasoul.com

Amy Ross had a new series that premiered at Kopeiken’s gallery the same night as Marta Soul’s.

Amy Ross has spent time in Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, Massachusetts where injured wolves are rescued and rehabilitated. Wolf Hollow has enormous pens of wolves which are no different than dogs as pets.  “If you howl at them, the wolves howl back.” Amy said, filled with passion for how the wolves affected her.

http://www.wolfhollowipswich.org/

Amy creates hybrid creatures with her graphite, watercolor and walnut ink on paper.  Her love of her brother is clear as well as he was in the army and is the inspiration for her drawings below.

Amy shared with me that she was figuring out how she wanted to be in relationship with herself after her marriage of 12 years ended thus creating this new series.  “I love to cook” Amy shared.” She has farm shares to support a local organic farm. Sometimes crops are destroyed by insects and other pests. All summer I had an incredible bounty.” These self-portraits show Amy with swiss chard, driftwood and radishes. The driftwood symbolizes how she felt after her marriage ended.

Amy said “The individual cannot survive alone. What happens when you’re a lone wolf and you have to survive, hunt and care for yourself with no support?” Amy’s art shows us the lone wolf survives, even thrives after the pack has broken up. Like the wolf, when left alone we survive on raw instincts especially if there are young to take care of and in Amy’s case, a daughter. Amy looked at me and said “what happens when your marriage is over?” It was a question and matter of fact statement, all at once.

Amy Ross was born in New Jersey and lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts.

Amy’s website:

http://amyross.com/

Paul Kopeikin, Amy Ross

Mary Sherwood, Paul Kopeikin, Amy Ross


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