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LaNola Kathleen Stone, an award-winning photographer and art director in New York City, tells stories (both her own and others) with images. She specializes in shooting children's fashion and interiors, though recently she's received accolades for her fine art photography.   Her work Memories Abandoned (discussed below) is included in Surface Tension, an exhibition curated by Dan Halm at the SVA Gallery, NY, beginning Wednesday, October 21, 2009.   Memories Abandoned will also be featured in the Aqua Art Fair during ART BASEL MIAMI in December 2009.  Whereas her last post Measuring Up told the story of another, in this post LaNola shares some of her own story.

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I've spent the past year making images that I want to make.  After 9+ years working commercially in NYC this was quite the stretch.  I was rewarded for my efforts and the response to my work has kind of surprised me.  I've been validated by awards, scholarships and even an invite to show work during Art Basel Miami at the Aqua Art!

Since I was very young I've had an active imagination.  When I was introduced to the medium of photography at 14 I was free to express these creative meanderings; I have never been able to draw well so photography was a godsend.  Then I had to choose a career and sadly I've pushed the images in my head to the side while I have tried to make money with my photography.

I took these images and ideas that played in my creative mind for granted until they were gone.  I had never known life w/o ideas and images and I was worried that they'd never return.  As soon as I was done feeling sorry for myself my “lost years” of 2006-2007 (years of living with abuse), I went searching and the images again began to appear.  Now I validate them, all of  them. They are my white rabbit beckoning me to follow and adventures await.

LanolastonememoriesImage copyright LaNola Kathleen Stone 2009.

SERIES TITLE:  Memories Abandoned

Memories Abandoned is a series of images of my now abandoned childhood home in Utah.  These images are portraits of my childhood experiences in the selfsame location with genuine artifacts of the experiences  portrayed (ie: wardrobe consists of my actual childhood clothes and  the placed props are actual items from this time of my life – it helps to have parents who save everything, thanks Mom & Dad). Themes explored within the images are the impermanence of time, the deterioration of memory and space, inevitability of change and through it all, resilience and the ability to move and exist beyond our surroundings.  Following are two images from the series:

The Boys’ Room
I used to break into my older brothers’ room and dance to their records. Records such as Upstairs at Eric’s by Yaz, Duran Duran’s  Rio album, and of course the Thriller LP. Each was significantly more cool than the Burl Ives crap and Saturday’s Warrior I had on 8-track tape.

LaNolaStonerecords Image copyright LaNola Kathleen Stone 2009.

Computer Room
We owned an Apple II clone called the Franklin Ace 1000. We spent many hours playing text based adventure games but “the littles” (Allyson, Kimberly and I) were not allowed to actually touch the computer and the boys got to do all the typing. In 1984, Macintosh introduced the 128K complete with MacPaint and MacWrite. This was the first computer “the littles” were allowed to run completely by ourselves. I’ve been a Mac girl ever since.

LanolaStonecomputer Image copyright LaNola Kathleen Stone 2009.

I still pursue commercial work (girl's got to pay rent, … and now a mortgage) but I will never again suppress the call of my creative self.

The constant with everything is time.  Undaunted by circumstance, time is relentless and moves forward.  We needn't live in our heads or in the past, our past is there to be utilized as a springboard in the present.   It's what you and I do today that pulls everything into a marvelous narrative, our possibilities — our future.

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Do you have anything that came naturally to you as a child which you have subsequently suppressed?   Is it time to dust off those gifts, renovate that talent?

Have you ever thought of your creative ideas as a white rabbit beckoning you to adventure?

How can we foster the creative self in our loved ones — spouse, and/or children?

How does your present + your past = possibilities for your future?

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