Faern is kind of a mysterious one; petite and graceful. She speaks with a low rich voice that is at once calm and yet impossible to ignore. She’s the type who you just know has delicious little secrets and delightful ideas. As an artist, she is driven. Anyone who knows her even a little knows she’s a Tasmanian Devil of multi-talent and she’s thoroughly the moody artist when she can’t be engaged in the making of some thing.
One of the leading yoga, DJ, performance art and festival photographers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Faern has worked with everyone from ozomatli when they are at the Fillmore, to Bad Unkl Sista, Yoga Tree San Francisco to Common Ground Magazine.
“In my newest series- ‘Interlude : Actuate’ , which I have termed a ‘photo mixed media project,’ I use a polymer base medium in my method of creating the pieces~ which is basically acrylic paint without the color.”
“In this project I am not only exploring the things that cause us to pause, and then move on- but I am also studying the marriage of my materials, something that is so beyond satisfying for me it goes beyond escaping into my work. Also, in creating ‘Interlude: Actuate’ it requires a lot of community support, the models volunteer, I collect surfaces from the neighborhood to work on or some are donated to me as well.”
“In my creative mind the past few years I have been exploring the ways in which we bind ourselves, what that means and how we can benefit from that. There are things we impress upon ourselves intentionally, whether we realize this or not, this is an integral part of passing through, moving forward, or activating. With this project, ‘Interlude : Actuate,’ I have chosen to address this part of the growth process visually while allowing for the connection to the natural progression of life. With the combination of fine art photographic techniques and printing with a mixed media process using acrylic and India ink.”
Out of a recent personal tragedy in her life has sprung the blog project called, “it’s the little things.”
For a week now a flurry (or perhaps a fury) of blog posts have appeared on Faern-In-The-Works, with snippets and flashes of a carefully noticed life: Nothing is taken for granted, everything is studied, no stone is not contemplated.
Faern is keeping busy by observing everything.
The little things are noted down with short, prose-like musings and are featured alongside vibrant and surprising photographs that celebrate life; quietly.
That ultimate sense of gratefulness encompasses and informs all of Faern’s current work.
“One thing that has happened recently, especially NOW is that I have drastically changed my perception of my work and Self in the past year. I am much more focused now in a multitude of fashions, that’s why taking a sort of hiatus from my client work and art series’ took such a chunk out of my psyche temporarily.”
“I’m still trying to find that chunk, it will turn up sooner or later.”
“I am extremely happy to support my family in these hard times, but that doesn’t take away a sort of separation anxiety from the actual process- the work itself never stops– but the making of it is an integral part of my being.”
“The ‘its the little things’ came from this space, this place of missing my process combined with huge things happening all around me, but what I am faced with must come down to the little things, because the big things are nothing without the support structure of how we see these little parts of life and living.”
One of the things that surely keeps her a working artist in San Francisco, one of the most competitive art hubs in the world, is her ability to be extremely flexible. Being a certified yoga instructor herself, Faern is able to not only collaborate with her fellow yogi on location, lighting, and clothing, but also help choose appropriate poses and aide in spotting and finally take the photograph. More of her professional yoga photos are available on her Web site.
So when I say flexible, I mean that literallyand figuratively. She recently relayed on the phone to me about her adventures in yoga photography.
“A lot of times it will just be me and the yogi I’m photographing. I have to spot them and make sure they’re in the pose correctly,” she said. “Then I have to run and hurry up and get the photo. My latest yoga photoshoot was just me and Catherine, and she’s standing on her head on a little foot bridge. She can’t tip one way or the other…”
“Is that because she’d fall?” I asked.
“Well that and the postures have to be just right; they have to show the essence of the person as well as the alignment of the asana or pose.”
On top of her work behind the scenes Faern also models and has recently started guest blogging with her debut and recent photo shoot with Julie Michelle at the Columbarium both published on the i live here: SF blog earlier this week featuring a prose piece Faern wrote for them. The piece resounds with the theme of all of her current work, “These little things / they are just here, and there / it’s the little things that remind / me its ok to cry, while also they / help me fight back the tears.”
La La: How did you and Julie decide on the location ?
Faern: We had been emailing for weeks about different spots in the city- which wasn’t easy for me because I use the city a lot for my own work so I have a lot of things that I just love about this place […] the whole time we were e-mailing I had the Columbarium in the back of my mind.
La La: What was it like being in front of the camera?
Faern: This is NEVER an easy thing for me, I have gotten better over the years of forcing myself to be there sometimes and having so many friends that use cameras now, but there have been times in the past that I acted like I was in witness relocation or something […] I can fit behind a lampost pretty well. And for this project, I volunteered, I mean, what? me? choose to do something like that… Lord, that is one rare occurance… but even in being in front of the camera I felt like I was sort of behind… reading the lighting, recording the details. I even had my camera with me also, but I chose to not take it out for fear of distraction and habit, it’s an easy object to hide behind, the camera, especially when you have been handling one since the age of three or four.
La La: I like that the style of clothing and jewelry is vintage.
Faern: I have always been into vintage clothing. I went to the Rose Bowl monthly market and went through every piece of vintage anything, and that dress was my find, it reminds me of times past. Then the necklace, well I know this great artist couple and one of them started making this vintage reconstruction jewelry that I had been looking at a lot… I think I got the necklace first actually- I can’t remember, but anyhow, Velvet Otterhound knows about the little things- so I had to bring that piece with me.