TAMA HOCHBAUM – ARTIST’S STATEMENT
It is a bit ironic, my having an exhibition entitled Y A R D. Since moving to the South almost 14 years ago, I have spent somewhat little time there in comparison to the 16 years previously spent in yards in Newton, Massachusetts. I came south, having grown up in New York and then having lived between New York and Massachusetts for 22 years. I started gardening in Newton and would come outside in the spring and summer every day for an hour, or more, just to see the change in a flower’s habit, a plant’s budding; to note and document the opening of a single bloom or to give water to something that was wilting. I worked hard in a garden that had 3 hours of sun, max. Cut to North Carolina and a house on a street in Chapel Hill, a street lined with houses with gardens, some of them quite famous. Our house, however, did not boast a garden. And because of the presence in our lives of a three month old who never napped for more than 20 minutes, along with an eight year old, and the shock of a North Carolina summer of heat and humidity, the desire to till the earth was gone, despite a huge rolling back yard and full sun. But the yard also included a large magnolia tree, which has been the source of thousands of photos taken over the years, and a back and side yard complete with stone walls, Redbud Trees, figs and enough creeping vines to cover most of the vegetation if not held at bay. It also came with an Ailanthus, a big old weed of a tree we tried to cut back for the first few years and have given up on of late. It’s the tree that grew in Brooklyn, and as a New Yorker, I feel a connection to it, and am glad it is holding its own in our little piece of Chapel Hill. The exhibition contains views of our yard from the street, the porch, from under the Redbud and Ailanthus, from inside looking out, from up close to that magnolia and from down the block. It also contains a couple of views of trees from around the corner of our yard, Battle Park, to be exact. And a view of some trees in the yard of Carolina Friends School, which for some months over the last few years, has felt very much like home to me. There are single images in this installation, composite images, hand-made books, and a slide show with music; the piece, Fortune’s Telling, the fifth movement of a composition of my husband’s, Allen Anderson. The composition is titled “Drawn from Life”, and the work in this exhibition is surely that, drawn from life.
ABOUT TAMA HOCHBAUM
Tama Hochbaum is an artist/photographer living in Chapel Hill. She was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship to study printmaking in Paris in 1975. For twenty years after her return she was a painter. Her foray into photography that began in Paris twenty years earlier became her sole interest once she moved South in 1996. She is represented by George Lawson Gallery in San Francisco.