Tamara Rafkin 

Artist Statement

My Artist­­­ic development has followed the trajectory of my life, always being visually geared as the first word I spoke which was “see”, showing how I wanted those around me to witness all the things I was experiencing, finding and entranced by.

I began by drawing and painting when as a child, then maturing in my artistic discipline as a teen and going onto Art College for University studies. It was while I studied at the Atlanta College of Art, working towards my BFA, that I found my primary medium in photography. With photography, the “see” that was seeded in infant-hood found a path to grow and expand presenting my vision to others for them to experience.

That vision is one that is fascinated by how we as humans interact with each other, forming the places we build and inhabit. Fueled by an interest in cultural anthropology, theology and architecture I believe people/cultures are not only emotionally influenced by their environment but that the way they develop those environments is imprinted with their emotions. I return to this idea as a basis for my photographic work time after time as I explore different cultures and places.

 Following the timeline of my life, I have explored this idea photographically and have also continued to study expanding my knowledge of artistic mediums, having most recently added ceramics to my artistic practice.

This is leading me in a direction that I have often explored in my sketchbooks, of installation artwork. Moving towards creating spaces about emotions, culture, and the way we as humans are our most human, in place of just witnessing and recording. Going from a 2 dimensional to a 3 dimensional experience to create these installations is the direction I see my work heading that excites me. It has me thinking and working in new ways that challenge me and hold the promise of growth in my work.

Creating emotional and mental discussions on how we see and experience cultural markers that divide and show our similarities – this is the discussion that matters to me. Visual art has the ability via its’ nature to by-pass the written and spoken word, communicating across boundaries of language. Working with that ability enables me to reach people from all facets hoping that they feel what I am presenting for discussion.