Mary Balda

Region: Pacific Coast


City / State: Ojai, CA

I am a collector. It is a treat to discover old books. Outdated grade school texts and scientific magazines with stylized illustrations are what truly appeal to me. Full of detail and often amusing, the hand-drawn images, which today would be photos, provide a source of nostalgia and campy charm.

I love color. Old issues of National Geographic are of special interest because they provide such dramatic examples of color saturation. They are also a unique documentation of history through specific imagery.

I am an observer. I anonymously note human characteristics. They are of people whom, just like the interesting old books, appeal to me for their unique appearance or disposition. With these collected images, I explore the disparate elements of my everyday observations and findings in a modern day contextual archaeology. In doing this, I reveal the minute correlations between dissimilar people and objects which flesh out my daily life.