Tangled – Janet Matthews

In 2017, I survived a heart attack.

In the weeks that followed I began to have obsessive questions about existence and purpose in life. As a distraction, I began to photograph again at some local woodlands. The bare trees covered with gnarled vines fascinated me, and I perceived an anatomical visual quality to them that I wanted to try to explore further.

The twists and tangles of the vines and branches seemed analogous to the chaos in my head. They became forms to contemplate, puzzles to solve, maps to decipher, and iconography to translate – a way to process the thoughts on mortality that occupied my mind. Slowing down to closely examine these trees and vines through the making of these images helped me to untangle my thoughts. These photographs are documents of that process.

I am a Maryland-based artist who explores psychological themes through evocative still life and landscape images. My background in drawing and painting has influenced my approach to photography and I often incorporate hands-on methods into my work.

janetmatthewsphotography.com / @janetmatthewsphotography