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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
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I’ve had a good life. Finding and sustaining love and romance has not exactly been my greatest accomplishment though. I was considering the mix of thoughts and emotions that I experience when observing couples who appear to be in love – e.g. Are they together for the long haul? What will their future hold? Will there be as much beauty as pain? How will the necessary compromises and conflicts unfold? And then I began to ponder and revisit some of the complex dynamics of my own past relationships. What combination of reactions did I have about each partner then – when immersed in the relationship and now – well after its demise?
As an artist and as a psychologist I have worked toward accepting and appreciating the ambivalence that can accompany most endeavors, love in particular and I try to look for the growth and learning opportunities in all experiences. I’m grateful that I can use art/photography in addition to words, to express, illuminate, process and reinterpret all.
Mostly these days I’m using my iPhone5 in conjunction with a sequence of post-processing applications to capture and then combine moments that seem compelling to me, rather than being burdened and distracted by the technology and weight of my DSLR. I selected the blended images for this essay to convey day-to-day experiences of couples: biking, dining, hugging, playing, vacationing and walking, juxtaposed against a backdrop of flowers and white picket fences that symbolize beauty and serenity, and then paired with textures of dividing lines, paper folds, scratches and splotches, that suggest conflict, separation, and tension.
Robin F. Apple (b. 1962) is a clinical psychologist at Stanford University. She fell in love with photography as an important creative outlet and vehicle for self-expression. As a psychologist, she values balance and integration, experimentation, expression, opening oneself to new experiences, and physical movement. As a photographer, she is intrigued mostly by highly colored images that use angles, blends, blur, and sometimes motion to combine elements of abstraction and reality in a way that keeps people guessing.
Dr. Apple is a member of the artist cooperative gallery, The Main Gallery, located in Redwood City, CA where her work is currently on display; her work is also currently exhibited at the Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA (Abstractions). In the past she has been included in exhibitions at Rayko Photography Center in the ‘Student and Instructor Show’, December 2012, Flow Art Space, Minneapolis, MN, ‘For Families’ exhibition, August 2013 and ‘The Pacific Art League’ (various exhibitions).
The Main Gallery