Kerry Michaels: Snowmelt and Biophilia: Ice
As we edge towards Christmas and a time of winter wonderlands, I thought the work of Kerry Michaels would be a beautiful visual celebration of this time of year. Michaels has lived on the coast of Maine for the past 20 years and the natural world informs and inspires her practice. As she states, “I crave its beauty and complexity. I respect its geometry and the noise, the quiet and the exuberance, as well as the decay. Sky, clouds, water, tides, animals, birds, plants, rocks, insects, and weather are integral parts of my landscape, both external and internal.” Today we feature two of her projects, Snowmelt and Biophilia: Ice. Snowmelt captures ethereal and fragile reflections in patches of ice and melt, each revealing a bit of magic in its liquid worlds. Biophilia: Ice are frozen still lifes, preserving florals into new incarnations, allowing us to see anew.
Kerry Michaels is a photographer and writer living in Maine. She has photographed five books, and her photographs have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Down East, Country Gardens, The Portland Press Herald, Gardenista.com and Remodelista.com. For eight years she was a contributing photographer and writer for Coastal Home magazine, and was the writer and photographer for an internationally popular website, on TheSpruce.com. Her solo exhibition at The Art Gallery at the University of New England, A Gateless Garden, featured 53 works. She has had shows at the Maine Jewish Museum, The Kingman Gallery, The Elizabeth Moss Galleries, The Sarah Orne Jewett House, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and the Merrill Memorial Library. She co-produced and directed the award-winning documentary film, River of Steel. Her script writing credits include the 20th Century with Mike Wallace, as well as media projects for Sesame Workshop, Disney, and Hearst New Media. Kerry is a licensed drone pilot and her website is flyingpointphotography.com.
Follow Kerry Michaels on Instagram @kerrymi
I have loved walking since I was a child. I used to walk to school, just for the joy and freedom of it. It is my meditation, and a way for my overactive mind to focus. While walking I am able to corral my wild thoughts into more manageable channels. I walk almost every day, sometimes finding beauty in the reflections at my feet. Particularly in puddles created by snowmelt, I have seen new worlds and magical universes framed by pavement that often looks like a starry night even on the brightest day.
During the pandemic, in the depths of the Maine winter of 2021, I felt an intense desire to find relief from the pervasive monochrome of the season. I became fascinated with freezing flowers and found that if I froze them outdoors, slowly, I could preserve and transform botanicals through the accidents of ice, changing and warping perspective, literally and metaphorically. I began to celebrate and anticipate freezing temperatures. Cold nights provided clearer ice and instead of dread, joy. I have continued the project into the warmer weather finding that shooting melting ice is as fascinating and transformative as the process of freezing. I think of these botanicals as being unapologetically female and am struck by the durability and fragility of the blossoms.
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