Florence Rodale: The States Project: Pennsylvania
Have you ever been out somewhere and someone struck up a conversation with you and then you find yourself becoming fast friends? Almost a decade ago, my husband and I were sitting at a sushi bar in Bethlehem, PA talking about photography, and the couple sitting next to us began to talk to us, sharing their similar interests. Suddenly it was as if we had known each other forever. Because photography has its own language, we were able to connect even though we all have different styles.
Florence has not only been a friend but an artist I can look to for inspiration, constructive criticism and encouragement in my own work. Her work is layered and sensitive with a soft, contemplative quality about it. As viewers, we can feel her kinship to the earth and nature and how she finds beauty in the smallest details. Perhaps this comes from digging in the dirt at her lavender farm, or perhaps this comes from motherhood, but this harmony and awareness of the world around her forms an ethereal and sensitive quality that is profoundly evident in her work.
Florence’s deep rooted love of historical processes and alternative photography matches the language and visual experience we can see in her work. It flows from and matches her individuality. She draws inspiration and sentimentality from the world around her and the family, friends and artists with whom she surrounds herself. She has shown her body of work in both the United States and Europe.
Florence Rodale is a self-taught, French photographer with a specialization in historical processes. Over the years, she has sharpened her skills by studying with renowned American master photographers to shape a personal look and feel for her work. Using anything from large format cameras to an I-phone, and anything in between, Florence creates photographs that attempt to translate her emotions and her deep love and connection to nature. Her work has been exhibited in France and in the USA where her prints are in numerous private collections. In her spare time, Florence runs an urban micro-farm where she grows organic lavender and flowers. She resides in Allentown, PA with her husband.
A powerful feeling takes me over whenever I am in physical contact with nature’s elements; I instantly become one with the Earth, with the place where I stand. My senses connect with my surroundings responding to my instincts. I know then with certainty that I exist, here and now. A handful of soil, a few raindrops, a gentle breeze brushing against my skin or the scent of a flower become tactile messages for my brain that onsets and immediate reaction, a moment of wonderful disconnection and pure delight that sends me into a “zone” for a split-second. As a result, my senses, emotions and moods are deeply altered and brought “ à fleur de peau” (to the surface). I find this experience fascinating and strangely addicting. Exploring, capturing and representing such moments and sensations with my camera define my challenge with most of my work.
This project is a slow and ongoing process because, in my view, connecting with the world around oneself often means connecting with the self, first. But connecting with the self, in most cases, involves finding our infinitesimally small place in space and time. This exercise has proven to be a never-ending loop but a path of growth and discovery towards joy and inner peace.
I love presenting my photographs as triptych, almost like haiku poetry, where each sentence speaks for itself but three lines of well-chosen words can tell a whole story. Here, each image stands alone but the sum of three tells a more compelling or intriguing narrative left for the viewer to interpret.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
Nadine Rovner: The States Project: PennsylvaniaApril 24th, 2016
Marty Desilets: The States Project: PennsylvaniaApril 23rd, 2016
Harold Ross: The States Project: PennsylvaniaApril 22nd, 2016
Florence Rodale: The States Project: PennsylvaniaApril 21st, 2016
Ed Panar: The States Project: PennsylvaniaApril 20th, 2016