Since as long as I can remember, my preference has been for the company of the natural world. This is where I find peace, inner strength and wonder. Simple moments there are often the most special - wind in the trees, light playing across the water...
For over twenty years now, during the long winter months, I forego my tiny solar powered, timberframe home in the woods of New Hampshire and move out to the Isles of Shoals where I work as winter caretaker. This group of islands lies nine miles off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire and can be seen from the mainland on clear days. The solitude and beauty of the nine deserted islands is especially appealing to me, with its rocky, windswept, often harsh environment where nature and its forces dominate. There, the rule that humans are only as significant as any other living inhabitant is more apparent. I am drawn to places that speak of this. They are getting increasingly hard to find in this crowded, hectic, modern “safe” environment in which most of us live.
I also worked as professional crew aboard traditionally rigged sailing vessels (tall ships) for many years. These ships were engaged in research and sailing school programs and each voyage was at least six to nine months long. Most of the nautical works on this website, I made aboard "Ernestina." Built in 1894, she was a former Gloucester fishing schooner and arctic research vessel, and she remains a beautiful and sea-worthy ship to this day. During one of our memorable trips, she was caught in the hurricane of 1991, which has become popularly known as “The Perfect Storm”. At the time, we were about 300 miles offshore, headed for Bermuda and then transatlantic to islands off the coast of Africa. We spent difficult, sea tossed days trying to skirt the worst of the hurricane while repairing nearly everything that could break or break down, including rigging, navigation systems and our main engine. The camera does not capture well the reality of the sea at its worst, so I have no images of the storm itself except those that exist in my mind. Instead, I offer those of a calmer nature which I believe hearken back to a time of greater simplicity and greater courage.
TECH NOTE: All images here are scans of the darkroom-made prints. Prints are obviously better quality.
EXCITING NEWS: The album, Island Sublime, is now available: 13 songs that reflect not only Alex's unique island life, but also rich, resonant insights. Accompanied by talented musician friends with sweet strains of acoustic and slide guitar, piano, violin, and more, we hope you'll enjoy these songs from across a seven mile sea. Also, An award winning short documentary by the filmmaker, Brian Bolster, about the winter caretaker on Star Island is now streamable: "Winter's Watch".
Please enjoy the website and thank you for taking a moment.
Alexandra is a two time Artist Fellow of the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout New England, and is in the permanent collections of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, and the DeCordova. She creates her images using film and traditional darkroom methods. All of her work is personally hand-printed on gelatin silver paper, and has been signed, dated and numbered. Please click the "showing" button to find out where she's exhibiting, and to view television/print-media profiles.