B i o g r a p h y:
“To abstract is to draw out the essence of a matter. To abstract in art is to separate certain fundamentals from irrelevant material which surrounds them.” – Ben Shahn
Born in Denmark, Judy Witheford studied acting at National Theatre School in Montreal, Visual Art, Art History and English Literature at SFU, and completed a professional degree in Architecture at UBC. As a photographer, painter and architect, she has been involved in using fine art and design to endow the human environment with a sense of place and meaning. With photography, she is both fascinated and frustrated by the abstraction of image – making, freezing a moment in time and space, controlling it, giving it importance over the endless flow of moments, and making meaning from what might otherwise be incomprehensible. She works to create a coherent record of engaged seeing.
She has always been deeply interested in the workings of change, especially as impermanence manifests in the landscape and the energetic forces of wind, fire, earth and water at the extreme ends of the scale – the small and intimate as well as the large and powerful. Her work reveals landscape and light.
Although photography has traditionally interpreted ‘real’ events, she is drawn to how photography can move from an accurate description of visual reality to a reshaping and transformation of the world into more non-representational, conceptual compositions. Increasingly, her work moves along the spectrum between realism and abstraction to give a visual sensory impression of feelings, thoughts and experiences.