Portfolio: Vicki Whicker

by Kara Fox

A gossamer thread spins in the universe and as it creates its magical web, it serves to connect us. Vicki Whicker's story is a gentle reminder of how I observe this movement in that which we cannot see. My path to Vicki is but a piece of this magical thread.

  My friend, Babs, who came to me via a chance encounter in an airport on the way to Cuba, has a daughter, Alyse, who has a friend, Maili, who is a friend of Vicki Whicker…my invisible thread has entwined us all, and is the basis for this month's portfolio. We do not need to know someone for them to resonate in our lives and when I read Maili's piece on Vicki, I felt compelled to learn more about this amazing woman's adventure. You are about to read the story of a brave woman's journey into the beautiful unknown as captured with her iPhone…vibrant iPhoneography.

I bought a house sight unseen from a post on Facebook by a man I barely knew. "Who wants to be my neighbor?" was his query along with the picture of a small white farmhouse mired in snow. It was March. That snow looked fresh. I was in LA, where the sun was relentlessly shining as it had been for the past 25 years of my time there. I was so done with LA."

From her first home in Florida, to Quincy, Illinois where she earned her BA in psychology, then off to California for a successful career as a shoe designer, and now to her new home in central New York, Vicki has left her creative mark throughout her crisscross path.

The year was 2011 and Vicki was confronting the dreaded empty nest syndrome…her only son was leaving for college, she was single and unhappy with her career. When she became aware of the posting on Facebook announcing the sale of this farmhouse in Burlington Flats, central New York, her world changed…sight unseen, she bought it! This run down farmhouse, built in the 1820's was to turn her world upside down.

The move…  Leaving Los Angeles was her 'undefined' plan. She was looking for something new, something smaller and greener…she was over the earthquakes, the smog and her successful career as a shoe designer. The rundown property, her new home, her farmhouse, was initially named Facebook Farm, logical as she learned of this opportunity on Facebook. She later learned her new home was named "Dunga Brook," and was once a thriving dairy farm spanning over 2,000 acres in Otsego county. Coming from L.A., she felt she had found paradise. While she waited for her new home to be renovated, an 8-month project, she used her iPhone as a mobile method of recording her progress. Friends were kept updated through her images. What began as thoughts of Vicki continuing the poetry and painting she had been creating for years, morphed into an unexpected career shift to iphoneography!

She began to realize she was creating a new art…and she filled her days stalking the flora and fauna of her new home. The more images she captured with her iPhone, the more she wanted to see…her home was done and within this brief time, she had produced over 20,000 images through the lens of her iPhone. She fell completely in love with her new home. As she remodeled, she explored and as she explored she took iPhotos. And, she found that by leaving L.A. she was able to reignite her creativity and fall in love with her new art. "To deify and illuminate the ordinary, this is what moves me.Each image is a memory, an attempt at capturing a love affair unfolding- a glimpse of 'love at first sight' infused with my present and my past-a swandive into the deep end of the pool, lit by color, texture, and emotion.

My macro images are meant to convey the glory of nature, things we would never see unless we fell to our knees.

According to Mary Petrie Lowen, writer, Los Angeles, CA, “The thing that sets Vicki Whicker apart as a photographer is her ability to capture a story in a still photograph. As in Vicki's poetry and her painting, she is telling her own story, yet she manages to allow you to dream up your very own. Her photographs inspire deep contemplation on the part of the viewer, which is a true gift. These works of art are meditations that invite you into a world you wish to explore again and again."

A gallery owner approached Vicki and asked her to do a show of her work at the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley, NY. Previous to this who even ever heard of an iphoneograpny exhibit? Who would have even known to have that as a goal in your dreams for the future? But that was just what was born from her work, Dunga Brook Diary: A Year of Seeing Differently iphoneography exhibit. She printed the images on 8" x 8" metal. And then guess what happened, almost all of the images sold out in the first day!

As you view these dynamic images you will surely understand how enthusiastically this work is being received. I am indeed fortunate the gossamer thread spinning in my life has captured Vicki Whicker!


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