I first saw Libby’s work in the Critcal Mass jurying process in 2009. I love the soft light, muted tones and quiet stories. Her series Dwellings has a bit of magic and humor as these habitats reveal themselves. She tells open stories, allowing us to provide our own narrative. We get to involve ourselves in her creativity. She suggest brooding as a mood for the images, I take exception to that. I see it in a more contemplative light, as one who creates mood and gives us as viewers an incomplete sentence, allowing us to tell our own story and live in our own dwelling, emotional or physical.
In her own words:
I am interested in the subtle differences between pondering, reflection, meditation, rumination and when these seemingly harmless contemplations turn to a more decidedly negative, and often detrimental, dwelling.
I am intrigued by the dual meaning of the word dwelling. How the “mental state” of dwelling is seen as definitively negative, but the “home” dwelling is at definition neutral but in reality holds the potential for both positive and negative associations.
This series of photographs uses physical dwellings made from materials that, along with their environments, suggest a state of brooding.
Libby Rowe is Assistant Professor of Art and the head of photography at University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her MFA in Photography from Syracuse University, NY. She is a member of the SPE, and has exhibited around the US.
All images copyright Libby Rowe. Used with permission.