Roberta Neidigh grew up on a farm in the rural Midwest, where land seemed to have no bounds. The farmhouse had been inhabited by generations of Roberta's ancestors, and her time there marked the beginning of her fascination with people, their histories, and their landscapes. She earned a BFA in Textile Design at Indiana University and subsequently settled with her husband in northern California, where she worked as an exhibiting textile artist for ten years. Photographing her first child rekindled a love for the darkroom, and Roberta began making portraits, focusing on connections between people and their environments. After raising her family, Roberta returned to the landscape in 2010. She has since shown her work in California, New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, Illinois and Massachusetts and currently explores the ways in which we cultivate our own public and private spaces.
PROPERTY LINE: ARTIST STATEMENT Where two plots of suburban land meet, a visual dialogue begins. This point of contact, on the property line, reveals communication between neighbors through landscape as an extension of the self. There is no margin here. Are we connected or divided by the place our land touches the land of another? How is this line drawn? In this body of work, I explore the way we protect our boundaries by creating a buffer in a place that has none, and how we cling more strongly to our own identity as our space nears its edge.
JEF CLAES How would you describe your work? Mainly graphic, geometrical and colorful, though recently I’ve been drawn to making pictures in a less structural and defined way. I don’t really know why, it just feels right. I like simplicity and geometry, but I am equally drawn to rather darkish stuff. What forms the basis of your work? My basis is formed by landscapes and fashion. I like to find lines, colors and shapes everywhere and juggle with context, so you could say landscapes are the basis. When photographing people, I usually do the same; l’m a sucker for structure and graphic elements. It’s only recently I’ve discovered there is an other, less structured way. But in general I like to photograph people if I can set everything up; fiction’s real in my mind.
What were you aiming to do with this series? Spring is a classic new beginning. It comes every year, and every year it’s somewhat different. Things change over the years, for better or for worse, but spring always brings the blissful promise of summer. It’s a beautiful feature for a season to bring promise. It’s that sense of anticipation and excitement I always get after those pale months of hibernation that I wanted to put in this series. It’s spring now, but it will be summer soon. Just you wait. How did the theme new beginnings inspire you? Spring is one of those new beginnings you can look forward to, and it’s here now. It’s universal and something everyone can relate to in their own way.