Mary Daniel Hobson


Artist Statement

At the age of 14, my camera taught me to pay attention. A garbage can, a crack in the sidewalk, ivy climbing the side of a building could create a frame full of beauty. I began to see the world in all its fine detail, and a life-long passion in photography claimed me.

A native of San Francisco, I traveled east to Vassar College where I majored in art history. My thesis addressed the fascinating life and photographic work of Lee Miller, apprentice and lover of Man Ray and one of the first female war correspondents during World War II. In her, I found a role model of a woman embracing photography as a medium of self-expression. While at Vassar, I also worked as the photographer for the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre and spent my summers studying printing techniques at the San Francisco Art Institute and UC Berkeley.

The sincere pleasure I found in studying Lee Miller inspired me to enroll in the masters program in the history of photography at the University of New Mexico. There my fascination with Surrealism was confirmed. For my MA thesis I addressed the photographic work of Dora Maar, most often known as the mate, model and muse of Picasso, but also a very talented photographic artist in her own right. Maar’s haunting collages taught me to dig deeply within myself for the source of my own creativity.

This immersion in Surrealism also encouraged me to begin working in a mixed media manner with photography. In 1996, I began to make the first layered collages in Mapping the Body, a seven-year series exploring the emotions and experiences housed in the body. My fascination with mixed media continues in two recent bodies of work. Milagros honors participants’ wishes for miracles and positive change in the world, while Bottle Dreams examines the mutability and fragmentary nature of memory. In 2007, I began expressing states of mind with digital still life photography in two new series, Evocations and Sanctuary.

Over the past ten years, I have gleaned creative inspiration from a variety of professional experiences including conducting archival research at SFMOMA and teaching photography at the California College of Art and at JFK University. Currently I am director of the Arts & Healing Network, an online resource about the healing power of creativity.

Mary Daniel Hobson’s Website

Mary Daniel Hobson’s Blog

Thanks to bits&bites for finding this artist!