Fall 2017, Volume 23

Cindy Stokes

Double, double, toil and trouble

Gravity waves




Fractured thoughts


Wild (#2)




Artist Statement:

Title: Drifting
These photographs are from a larger series made over the last two years that explores the interplay of chaos and harmony in both natural and manmade subjects.  In this set of images, I sought to embody the feelings I have when I drift in-between waking and sleep, when thoughts flow unimpeded and what’s real and what’s imagined mix freely.  That place is sometimes ordered, often chaotic, and littered with surprising juxtapositions, a place where imprecise but familiar memories surface and new ideas sneak forward but are usually forgotten. These images are like dreamscapes, then, places I inhabit for a little while each day to relive, reinvent, and reimagine life, alone in my head. The viewer is invited to come along.

About my process: Reality is rarely what it appears, and what we think we understand is often just a story we tell ourselves. This is why I’m driven towards abstracting my subjects, even though I work in the reality-based medium of photography.  Rather than previsualizing a final image before exposure in-camera, which is difficult with fast changing subjects anyway, my creative process spans the entire time from exposure to print as I change color to monochrome and explore many possible alternatives for borders, tonal values and relationships, paper selection and more.  I only complete my visualization of a piece as I near the final print in the studio.

About the Artist:
Cindy Stokes grew acutely attuned to the visual during graduate school while spending many hours viewing intricate details of tissues and cells through the microscope. Soon she began to photograph related visuals in her every day, macroscopic world, focusing primarily on found objects and spaces with a strong leaning towards abstraction as a metaphor for the ambiguity in life. Cindy has exhibited broadly in the US and has been a featured speaker at Leonardo events and Shooting the West. In 2008, she produced a book of abstractions and still-lifes celebrating dynamic form in nature entitled "Dynamic Form". A specialist in monochrome imagery with a long history in film and darkroom printing, Cindy now primarily works digitally and occasionally incorporates color. She has resided in the San Francisco Bay Area for twenty years. Portfolios can be seen at www.cindystokes.com, and Cindy’s daily photographic sketchbook is on Instagram (@cindystokesphoto).