// Laurie is a self-taught, digital photographer based in Los Angeles, California. She conceived the series In the Garden at Chislehurst while sitting low as a 4 year old played in the soil next to her. When she looked up, she found the wonder of the dracaena trees above her.
Her early years, spent in the Bronx, Coney Island & Far Rockaway, have influenced her work with themes of family, childhood, memory & home. After 20 years working behind the scenes in TV news, she went back to school to study child development. She has been working as a nanny for the past 12 years, a job that allows her intimate access to documenting children.
Laurie´s work is represented in various galleries. She is also the Founder and Director of L.A. Photo Curator & N.Y. Photo Curator, online international competitions that promote emerging photographers.
“Every idea occurs while you are working. If you are sitting around waiting for inspiration, you could sit there forever.”
What draws you to art?
“Creating good photographs or improvising stories (musically or storytelling), for me, taps into a wellspring of harmony with the universe. There’s nothing quite like the perfection of creating something from nothing.”
What do you like best about this photographic project?
“I enter their (the children´s) world. Watching them puts me into positions I could have never thought up. This latest series, ‘In the Garden at Chislehurst’ had me sitting very low as a 4 year old played in the dirt next to me. As I looked up, I found the wonder of the dracaena trees above me.”
‘In the Garden at Chislehurst’ is Laurie´s navigation through the pandemic year 2020. Her day job as a nanny put her into the world of a four-year-old, allowing her to escape the stress of the pandemic and find a beautiful space in the garden, a reminder that beauty is always here for us, no matter what unfortunate circumstances surround us. She asked herself, like Einstein, “Is the universe a friendly place?”.
Laurie says, “I had forgotten that it was. The news was telling me everyday that it wasn’t. So many deaths. Every sneeze, every cough, was it the pandemic? Was death closing in? How close could I get to another human? Would this child understand why I was masked, why he couldn’t see my smile, why we couldn’t hug? What a way to live! I was lucky to be in a situation where we could be outside in nature and to remember how lucky I was to live in Los Angeles where we have access to nature most of the 365 days of the year. It was the nature and curiosity of a four-year-old that led me into the world of order and harmony, sunshine and flowers. As the child played in the dirt pretending to make berry pie, I looked up from my low vantage point and saw these dracaenas and captured the bounty of life above me. I leaned close to the stalks of dracaenas with my iPhone and entered another world.”
Some photos are cropped for layout, clicking on the images shows the full version.
ALL PHOTOS © LAURIE FREITAG
Please also visit Laurie´s Instagram page or visit her website for more of her work. All of these photos are available at the Susan Spiritus gallery.