Kimberly Witham

Kimberly Witham was born and raised in Wakefield, Rhode Island. She studied art history at Duke University and photography at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Her photographs are strongly influenced by her studies in art history and her interest in the natural world. Her work has been featured in Color Magazine, PHOTO+ Magazine (S. Korea), BLOW photo (Ireland) and Wired (online) and has been used as cover illustration for books in the US and France. She has won awards and grants including a fellowship at the Center for EmergingVisual Artists and the Lindback Distinguished teaching award. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad and is held in numerous private collections. Kimberly is represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston. Today we share her series Domestic Arrangements.

Still Life with Woodpecker and Scissors, 2011

Still Life with Chipmunk and Pears, 2010

Still Life with Catbird and Cherries, 2013

Still Life with Eggplant,Trumpet Vine and Groundhog, 2011

Domestic Arrangements

My work is strongly influenced by natural history dioramas, cabinets of curiosity, still life painting and other visual manifestations of man’s attempt to categorize, comprehend and ultimately control the natural world.

The photographs in this series pay homage to traditional still life painting while underscoring the inherent tension between humans and nature. While Vanitas paintings refer to the futility of earthly pleasure, the photographs in this series question the consequences of our domestic comforts. Unlike traditional still lifes, which often combined domestic objects with items from foreign locales, all of the items in my photographs are found close to home.
The objects in these photos include personal possessions, flowers and vegetables from my garden, and birds and animals found by the roadside. I arrange these items into ephemeral constructions that are simultaneously whimsical and grotesque. While these images are inspired conceptually by the Vanitas tradition, formally they are more akin to contemporary home and style magazines. In the pages of these magazines, products are arranged in clinical perfection. They promise relaxation, fulfillment and simplicity if we only buy one more thing. In contrast, my arrangements highlight both the promise of suburban comfort and the aftermath of our continued consumption.

Still Life with Ham and Squirrel, 2010

Still Life with Mole and Peas, 2013

Still Life with Watermelon and Chipmunk, 2011

Still Life with Peaches, 2010

Still Life with Peony and Catbird, 2010

Still Life with Nuthatch, 2012

Still Life with Steak and Fox, 2010

Still Life with Red Squirrel and Chestnuts, 2010

Still Life with Snake, 2011

Still Life with Two Squirrels, 2011

Still Life with Warbler and Lemon, 2010

To view more of Kimberly’s work, please visit her website.