12 07 2011

After countless hours of early morning photo taking, late night poem crafting and all throughout the day gallery preparing, Matt and I (Kate) successfully installed our collaborative work this past weekend in the Xnihilo Gallery at 2115 Taft St. One wall hosts a series of images of the public art installations Matt has placed in our First Ward neighborhood during the past 10 months. The opposite wall is a display of photo and text vignettes highlighting 9 different women and their lives in the neighborhood as captured by myself in informal interview format throughout the year. The third and most interactive wall is a combination of my photos and Matt’s poems in three distinct yet interrelated sections, each relating individual story with overarching issues influencing neighborhood dynamics. The gallery will remain on display until July 30.


Sacrament of the Ordinary: Aging.

15 04 2011

“None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives.” — Kathleen Norris

Portrait: Mamita Rivas, 100 years old
Location: First Ward, Houston, TX
Photographer: Kate Ambrose
Date: March 2011 

Sacrament of the Ordinary.

7 01 2011

One of my teammates, Becky, and I (Kate) are currently in an ongoing process of creating a photojournal piece that seeks to highlight the interiority of our neighbors’ lives in the First Ward community this year. This is being accomplished through a combination of digital color photography, black and white film, and face-to-face interviews/transcribed notes. The central theme winding its way through each interview focuses on an innate human desire to know and be known that is revealed through introspective thought, memory-sharing and a strong sense of physical belonging. As we spend every Wednesday afternoon on a weekly basis listening to our neighbors’ stories while we sit on their front porches or in their living rooms or on the floor of their kitchens, as we capture informal portraits and jot down conversational notes, we are uncovering a richer layer of understanding regarding connection: to person, to place and, ultimately, to God.  Our hope is to produce a cohesive work to display in a hanging gallery or photo book by the end of our season here in Houston, combining both film and text as we tell a powerful story of the ordinary transformed into the sacremental in our neighborhood.

(All photos taken by Becky Harlan)