at the place of the green bubbling hot springs

Recently, I’ve been dealing with a long term health issue and it was highly suggested I take some time away from work, and even where I live, to essentially reset my body and mind. I took the advice of doctors and decided to go to a hot springs resort in New Mexico. Baths and water have always had a healing effect on me so staying at this place sounded like an excellent fit. Knowing this, though, I also knew I’d have a unique opportunity to make photographs. And while I set aside most of the time to relax and regain some mental stability, I segmented a portion to create with Madeline, a model based in the same state. While visiting, I learned about the local history; how the location came to be. Originally settled by ancestral Native Pueblo peoples, it was called “Posi” or “P'oseuinge” which translates to “village at the place of the green bubbling hot springs.” Quite often, places like this have been taken over by Americans and turned into businesses earning millions of dollars when it was once enjoyed by all, for free. While many people who visit may relish in the history, I always feel conflicted utilizing a place with incredible history that has been changed largely due to capitalism. Participating in this system is something I tend to find troubling. I need utilize it to “survive” but I have no interest in taking full advantage of it. In these situations, where I’m attempting to do something positive for my health, I can at the very least address and acknowledge the history and land I’m using for my benefit. This new series is titled “At the Place of the Green Bubbling Hot Springs” in recognition of this location, the native Pueblo peoples that came here long before me, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to utilize and create something positive. I did leave feeling more optimistic about my body, both physically and mentally. While many of the photographs in the series were made using the water, I did create a few just outside of it creating a balance. I also knew I didn’t want to do anything fully immersed underwater. That’s a style I’ll leave to other photographers, many of which excel at it. So we weaved in and out of a private hot spring, utilizing fabric in some situations, wetting the fabric in others, and using no fabric for a few. I didn’t want to rely solely on the water and its effect it has. I wanted to be able to provide contrast to the series, creating in several different situations. I’m also including something I’ve never added to a series before— an oil painting (#8). For the past year or so, I’ve been teaching myself to paint through trial and error. I’ve always wanted to learn but I never took the time to do it. So, for the first time, I’m showing an original oil painting as part of the series. I’ve been sitting on some for quite some time, never believing they were good enough to show. The time has come for me to put them into the world. But as always, my goal with the photographs I make is to make them feel like paintings. I enjoy walking a line between photography and painting and, at least in some photographs, you second guess whether it’s a painting or not. This particular series features 8 photographs and 1 oil painting and I’m extremely proud of the results. I feel I utilized the springs in a unique way where had I not mentioned them being what they are, it’d be nearly impossible to tell. Hot springs tend to be photographed in a certain way and my goal was to not fall back on that method.