Paloma Dooley

2020 - Ongoing

During the intense period of lockdown in the spring of 2020, I turned to my garden as a source of peace and strength. I focused on the quick lives of my plants—rise and peak, decline, death—while I felt a dearth of growth and change in my own life. Caring for my garden was a way to care for myself. I felt a tentative joy from tending my plants every day, despite the crushing grief and uncertainty of life during the pandemic. I explore this twin situation of gratitude and grief photographically by creating situational portraits of my neighbors and loved ones at home and in the yard, as well as by creating portraits of the garden plants themselves throughout their life cycles.

A garden is like an estuary, it’s where the private stream of home life meets the powerful tide of all that is out-of-doors. My ongoing body of work "Distancely" looks precisely at that relationship between people and the cultivated nature that lives in their backyards. "Distancely" is an exploration of growth and stagnation, loss and gain, loneliness and community.

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