Continuing her study of how humans interact, observe and consume the natural world, Colleen Plumb makes delightful images of landscapes, real and artificial, untouched and constructed while infusing them with a subtle, poetic perspective. The photographs have been grouped in diptychs and grids so that works visually and contextually “speak” to each other, also offering the viewer multi-layered readings. Plumb explains, “Both the photographs and videos examine ambivalence towards nature and animals, and the complex and contradictory ways it is woven through the fabric of culture. I'm interested in the voracious appetite humans have for (re)-connection with the natural world, whether in flesh or in reproduction, with admiration or obsession.”
Colleen Plumb earned her BFA in Visual Communication from Northern Illinois University in 1992 and her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (1999), where she is currently an adjunct faculty member. Plumb’s work is in the permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago; Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach; Girls’ Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale; Fidelity Collection, Boston; and the Beijing Natural Cultural Center in China. Her photographs are part of the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Chicago Project at Catherine Edelman Gallery. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibits at the Jen Bekman Gallery in New York City; the Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago; Union League Club of Chicago; and City Gallery, Historic Water Tower, Chicago. Group shows at Santa Monica Art Studios, California; Humble Arts Foundation, New York; Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago; Chicago Cultural Center; Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle; Gallery 339, Philadelphia; Griffin Museum of Photography, Massachusetts; and the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. Plumb's work was recently featured in Photo District News, Ireland's Blow Photo Magazine, Time’s LightBox, the BBC in Brazil, and The New York Times’ LENS Blog. Her book, Animals are Outside Today was published by Radius Books in 2011 and includes an essay by Lisa Hostetler, Curator-in-Charge, Department of Photography, George Eastman House in Rochester, NY.