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Artist ID: 2385

Pandemic Peanut It was November 2021 and I live in Dothan, so I found myself at the National Peanut Festival. I tried to pretend it was pre-Covid times as we waited in the crowded line to ride the Big Himalaya carousel or sat on cold bleachers watching cars smash into each other at the Demolition Derby. We were only in the lull between variants and it did no good pretending. The reprieve did give a chance to contemplate what the changes felt like at that time, however.

The three images I share here express the mid-pandemic experience.

Previously unknown perspectives, palettes and angles (Big Himalaya), wild currents of spontaneous emotion moving faster than we can process (Wonder Flash), the Good Old USA (USA USA USA), unkindly battered and re-shaped, stirring up choking dust, sickening metallic sounds reverberating in the air alternated with cheers and gasps.
The evocation of movement, of location, of story, sound, taste and sight - these are our most primordial access points, bypassing the thinking brain, comparatively slow to comprehend.
Sensory impulses lead to profound, instant and involuntary collective response.
Simultaneous reactions prove our unity, like a flock of birds can sense the rest of the flock with no clear leader. We are unified even if we think we are not. We know how we feel. It's as quick as a blinking light, a speeding carousel, a child's laugh or a head-on collision.

Laura Lee Stjernstrom has been a writer, dramatist, director, designer, actor, drama teacher, painter and yogi. After all that, she still feels like an emerging artist. There is still so much to learn and in the process, she continually evolves as a person and a creative.
As a photographer, she looks for the story of the scene in an image or collection, striving to find greater significance than what is immediately apparent. Normally, she photographs flowers and nature very close in order to see colors, shapes and light play that a casual observer might easily have missed. Sometimes, though, she feels compelled to photograph a person or location such as in the case of Pandemic Peanut submitted here.
She treats ideas that fascinate her as Independent Studies. Topics in progress include historical Indigenous Alabamian food ways (People Who Clear the Land), Shakespeare (A Botanical Midsummer Night's Dream), and an individual's post-lockdown use of their own green space (By the Yard). She has just completed her first full-length stage play, Beauty Must Suffer and her first screenplay, Mo Hawk.

Click image(s) to enlarge.