The black and white images in “Mementomori” were shot on film and printed in the darkroom. There was no digital manipulation. The word ‘mementomori’ means, literally, a reminder of death. This series of images is a study of grief. The human figure merges with objects from the natural world to create a hybrid reality in which instinct and emotion unite. Each photograph is unearthed from the subconscious of existential longing and collective mourning. In the wake of global warming, mass extinction and war my art is my refuge; beauty is grace. We, as a species, are waging a war against each other and against the Earth itself. The inevitability of death, both on a personal and global level, forces me to an acceptance of what is. An animistic justice, in which all matter, composed of the same molecules and atoms, inhabiting the same space, deserves the same level of respect and gratitude.
Patti Levey was born in New York City in 1959, and she lived in San Francisco, California for 12 years, before making Santa Fe New Mexico her home in 1995. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in San Francisco. She also studied at The Phototherapy Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her photographs have been exhibited in New York, San Francisco and Santa Fe as well as The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.