Having been immersed in chemistry and physics as a scientist, I am drawn artistically to the natural world which is fascinating on various levels. The surfaces and components of these organic bodies provided a wealth of raw material for discovering photographic images. The visual products are a result of exploring ideas and images by looking closely, seeing differently and recording the results..
These images are the result of the interaction between what the human eye sees, what the camera lens captures and what the printing process brings into permanence. The natural world is huge. Decisions are made to select a very small segment that isolate some adaptation of what is present. By eliminating parts that detract or distract, a graphic image becomes almost unrecognizable from the original, whole object. The segment, taken out of the context of the natural world, becomes an evocative image instead of an historical document.
Although I have gone from scientist to artist, there is no contradiction in my approach to the world. Neither is there a contradiction between the community of the classroom and the solitary search for images. To teach is to take raw potential and guide it through a process of interactions that build and nurture unrealized strengths. The satisfaction of this process finds a parallel in capturing photographic images. I seek to discover the strong visual elements that are hidden in the object and eliminate those elements that distract from a new composition. In both cases satisfaction comes from the fulfillment of hidden and unrealized potential that lies within the seemingly ordinary material.
In Beyond the Obvious I have concentrated on details that can be transformed by nature or by the camera lens. I look as a scientist would, for the hidden reality that lies beyond the obvious appearance. I study the complex systems of nature and see the simplicity of the structure — the elegance of the fundamental form that underlies the essences of the object. I present these in a visually formal composition. These images seek to present the balance found within a chaotic world as I attempt to preserve what is beautiful and meaningful. I use the camera lens as I would use a microscope to research little noticed parts that can be isolated and transformed into photographic images.
– Kathleen Hocker