Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, raised in Morganton, NC, and educated at Davidson College (including one year studying in Montpellier, France), I have since lived in Charlotte, NC, still haunting the woods in the foothills and mountains of the Blue Ridge. Most of my photography work has been produced in platinum-palladium and copper plate photogravures; only recently have I delved into color digital printing. Other continuing projects include “Self Portrait in Another Body” and “Pilgrims: Immigrants in my Home,” both of which work on issues of sameness, contrast, comity, and acceptance.
“Cloistered Order / Mendelian Meditations”
At the beginning of the pandemic, with the stay-at-home orders, I turned the camera inward, focusing on myself and Tom Thoune, my partner of 35 years. There are several performative aspects of this project, including twice-daily meditations, yoga, a yogic breathing routine, and twice-daily several-mile walks to a nearby park and nature preserve– all aimed at quieting anxiety and encouraging creativity. During these walks, I gathered plant life, and then composed images of Tom and myself, often with the blooms or leafy branches covering or interacting with our faces and bodies, surreal tableaux. Metamorphosis is the theme. Plant and animal are woven together much like the painted margins of illuminated manuscripts. These are portraits of our interactions with the confining environment around us, chimeras of humans and plants. Another meditative routine during this time is knolling, the rhythmic ordering of the flowers and leaves on velvet; sometimes the elements are allowed to age and ripen, photographed along the way.
“Cloistered Order” is now in “True Likeness,” a portrait exhibition co-curated by Lia Newman and Tom Stanley at Davidson College Galleries. “Cloistered Order / Mendelian Meditation” will be in the exhibition, “Silent Streets: Art in the Time of Pandemic,” opening April 17, 2021, at The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC until November 2021.
To view more of Raymond Grubb’s work please visit their website.