Barbara Ruth

Artist Statement

Three of these photographs (Tree Sign Language, Drifting Light, and Sacrificial Altar) are from a series called “Hallucinated Landscapes.” There was an eerie mood about some of the locales which prompted me to photograph them for this series. In other cases, a discovery after I took a picture brought it to this series. Sometimes it was an experiment or a mistake in using a filter which made it a Hallucinated Landscape.

“Tree Sign Language” was a concept before it was a reality: I was looking for brachiation and leaf shapes which would resemble the handshapes of ASL.

“Sacrificial Altar”—Would I have had the same creepy feeling if I’d come across this tree and the grassland before it somewhere other than on the borders of rich folks’ homes in Saratoga, CA.  hearing aggressive rock music blasting through the forest? I’ll never know.

“Drifting Light” was originally called “Darkly Driftwood.”That version was so dark the art editor at The Deaf Poets Society couldn’t actually see it. I tried to change the exposure but lost the effect I wanted so I brought up the exposure then superimposed light trails. I like this even better than my original concept, because it suggests the lights beneath the ground and in the air which are not actually visible but are buzzing around, full of life, nonetheless. Thanks, Janet!

“Sun through the trees and in the water” is from a series called “Found Altars.” It was taken at Lake Almaden in San Jose and attests to what we fight for, in the Dakotas, in Flint, Mich., everywhere: “Water is life.”