(A visual essay on adaptation and acceptance in relocation/immigration and migration)
Some say we are all immigrants but many indigenous people have lived in one location for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. In this series I am addressing the more recent acts of relocation. The place of one's birth greatly influences who they are but through moving, new foods, cultures, languages and landscapes await to reshape their very being. Acceptance and rejection play a part in this. I was born in the Midwest, moved as a young adult to California, then back to the Midwest to help aging parents. After their passing, I headed west again, this time alighting in New Mexico. Even though I didn't really encounter a great deal of differences in people there were subtle language differences, definitely food differences and some culture shifts that required adjustment on my part. The most profound change for me was the landscape. Here I am exploring how one's landscape, whether rural, suburban or urban, can utterly reshape them and how through relocation they grow and flourish. They become, in essence, a blending of all former homelands with the present.
Ellen Jantzen was born and raised in St. Louis Missouri but now lives in Santa Fe New Mexico. Not considering herself a "photographer" but an image-maker, Ellen creates work that bridges the world of photography, prints and collage. Once digital cameras began producing excellent resolution, Ellen found her perfect medium. It was a true confluence of technical advancements and creative desire that culminated in her current explorations in photo inspired art using both a camera to capture staged assemblages and a computer to alter and manipulate the pieces. Her work is shown and published internationally. Ellen is currently represented by Susan Spiritus of the Susan Spiritus Gallery, Bruno David of the Bruno David Gallery, and Edition One Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.