Nancy Gesimondo

The photography-based assemblages in this series are influenced by the tradition of pioneering feminist artists, such as Anne Brigman, Judy Chicago and Ana Mendieta who are the subject in photographic images in nature. Landscape is presented in these images to convey a connection to, and reverence for the natural world. Photographs of one’s self are often assumed to be self-portraits. My point with these images is to suggest a persona, to embody and become something other than myself.  These reflections draw upon themes associated with mythic images of the priestess that embody divine female power.  In the ancient world, the priestess officiated sacred rituals. Their spiritual authority came from their inner wisdom, which was deeply grounded in the natural world. The titles of each of these reflections are verbs that ground us in the “doing”, and in this active sense reconnect us to the physical world and emphasize our corporeal nature. The vintage ocular shaped frames create a lens into a timeless space that reminds us of how intimately we are embedded in the physical world. Subtly placed natural elements included in some of the pieces bridge the space between the camera’s eye and our own inner eye, elucidating the liminal threshold that exists between existence and perception. The series, Portals includes photographs at the site of two remote bodies of water located on opposite ends of the United States. Dead Horse Bay is a leaking landfill with radioactive contamination on the Rockaway inlet in Queens NY. The Salton Sea is a landlocked highly saline body of water in southern California. Both of these areas were once thriving recreational destinations that are now are littered with evidence of our inability to responsibly steward the environment. The sand at the Salton Sea is covered with the bones of dead fish, birds and barnacles. Dead Horse Bay is littered with pieces of colorful broken glass bottles that create an eerie tinkling sound as it is washed to the shore by the waves. The installation will incorporate audio from the site to enhance the narrative.
The priestess in these images cradles a mirror reflecting the condition of the environment.  The assemblages will incorporate materials from these sites in shadowboxes and vintage ocular shaped frames that provide interior space for assemblage.

At this residency I will be shooting photographs of myself immersed in the waterfront landscape of Toronto Island. The work incorporates the production of props, land art and vestimentary garments. The theme of these images reference mythology, as well as rituals and indigenous practices that transports the viewer into a space of introspective contemplation about our obligation to protect the natural environment.


Nancy Gesimondo is a mixed-media artist working with natural materials and recycled objects.  Her projects are anchored in the desire to promote awareness for environmental beauty and the precarious state of its existence. In 2020 she was awarded a new work grant from The Queens Council on the Arts.  This recent work involves photography-based assemblages of her self in both idyllic and toxic natural environments.

Comments are closed.