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Archive 5 - J anuary - March 2001
Sylvia White - Charter Member Los Angeles, California
Starting out in Boston over 50 years ago, I yearned for a life of travel and majored in romance languages in college, hoping to land a job with UNICEF or another UN agency which would send me off to some exotic land. By the time junior year rolled around, it dawned on me that I could learn the language I was studying faster and more thoroughly if I lived in the country where it was spoken. I took a tramp steamer from NYC to France (airline tickets were relatively expensive then) and enrolled in the Sorbonne (University of Paris) for two years. The following summer I was vacationing in Greece before going on to Spain to study in Barcelona when I met several hippies coming back from India. They regaled me with stories of life of the road and explained how cheaply and easily one could go overland from Greece to India. Suddenly the adventure of a lifetime opened up before me.
It took three months to hitchhike to New Delhi through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Once in India, traveling by bus through the South, I began to slow down, and although I still clutched my Fodor's guide, I was slowly changing into native dress while going from temple to temple. And all the time I was becoming more and more aware that the baggage I carried literally and figuratively needed some serious unpacking. The adventure lasted three years and included stints at a yoga ashram and a Tibetan monastery in Nepal before ending in 1972.
I was attending film school in Los Angeles in 1981 with the intention of becoming a director when I started exploring still photography. The 35 mm SLR soon replaced the movie camera as my preferred tool of expression because it allowed me to work more quickly and independently.
During the rest of the 80's, I opened a headshot studio, worked as staff photographer at Griffith Observatory and taught classes at the LA Photo Center. Eventually architectural work became my freelance specialty. I also began to exhibit my art photography locally at this time.
Then, in 1987 I entered the Art Department of UCLA and concentrated on sculpture and ceramics. I loved the hands-on involvement with the subject and the thrill of creating in three dimensions. This lead to my building environmental pieces which transformed the space itself rather than just making an object designed to be exhibited in a neutral space. Returning to photography after graduation in 1989, I brought these sculptural and architectural influences to my more recent work on the nude.
Web Site: Sylvia White
What you are about to see is photographic art by a classically trained artist. If you are squeamish about the human body or younger than 18 years of age, please refrain from opening these artistic images.