Lori Landau Photography
Every photograph, every painting, and every drawing I do starts from the same place: that small, nameless force inside that seeks connection to myself and the world around me. It’s an expression of my own individual way of seeing the world, as well as my way of processing and expressing those perceptions.
I make art to create something out of nothing. I want what I create to say something, to mean something, to make people feel something. But I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to feel. That’s because to me, both making art and viewing it are very personal experiences. Art making is not an act of doing — it is a way of being in the world, a way of filtering all of those ordinary moments we all have — of being mindful about the little things: the way the light touches the top of the mountain when the sun is coming up; the sound of the ocean when you realize that it is breathing just like you are.
I don’t think you need to make art to get this. You just need to open to the experience. Both making art and viewing it are acts of deep listening, of deep feeling. I know that you get this whether you are a doctor or student or electrician. We are all vulnerable. We are all want to understand a little more about mystery. We want to touch it. We want to be it. We all want to matter.
Like life itself, even for me, the artwork itself is a bit of a mystery. When I pick up my camera and point it toward the water (most of my photographs are of water), or splatter paint with a brush, or draw a line and then another and another, I have no idea what I’m looking for. But I know it when I see it.
That’s because my desire is to do something with my feelings, to rise above them, to transform them, to transcribe my own interior. I consider my camera, pen and brush an extension of my hands, a translator of the “everyday me” a way to evoke the idealized part of myself.
Yet as much as I hold the tools that help me create, I consider myself the actual instrument. The photographs and paintings here rain into my heart and my hands from somewhere other than self, butI recognize myself more clearly when they arrive.
I have this thing I do when I draw portraits sometimes, where I don’t look down at the paper — I just gaze at the face and keep my hand moving. I have a similar feeling when I take pictures of water. I don’t look with my eyes so much as my heart.
Photography and art remind me that like water, everything is constantly changing. I could never take the same photograph or do the same drawing or painting exactly the same. The same as I can’t make things be the way I want them to be. Taking photos, drawing, painting help me to accept my lack of control more easily — and allow me to trust that there’s more to everything than meets the eye. It is a visual documentation of where I have been, the only way other than memory to hold on to something.