Mary Lang


Artist Statement

In my new work, I raise my gaze and my camera lens from reflections on the surface of water to encompass the space of ordinary life, of earth, trees, and sky.

For more than forty years, my discipline has been (and will continue to be) straight photography. My work is about looking and seeing, using the frame to capture the moment of perception. As a photographer, I am rooted in the phenomenal world, yet my subject matter is not so much the physical places in front of my lens, but rather the emotional and elemental quality of the space itself. Sometimes gazing into space can feel like falling off a cliff, losing your sense of self, losing solid ground. My intention is that the groundless atmosphere of my images evokes a similar openness and space in the mind of the viewer.

My photographs contain both the vast geographic space of mountaintops or shorelines and the tiny detail of a telephone wire or a string of lights on a pole. My work has long been informed by my Buddhist meditation practice. More and more, I try to express the possibility that we can trust our experience as it unfolds, moment by moment; that we can pay attention without fear to the details of everyday life, held within awareness without boundary. That awareness is the intimate space gazing out a car window or the atmospheric space of early morning fog. It is the contemplative inner space of a quiet ordinary moment, the space between the in breath and the out breath, a gap full of loneliness and possibility.

Artist Bio

Mary Lang was included in the 2004 DeCordova Annual Exhibit and was a recipient of an artists Grant-in-Aid award from the St. Botolph Club Foundation in 2006. She has been an artist-in-residence at Crater Lake National Park and at the Weir Farm in CT. Her recent one-person retrospective exhibit, Like Water, at the Trustman Gallery at Simmons College was reviewed by Mark Feeney in The Boston Globe. She has exhibited locally, as well as in galleries in Washington DC, Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. Her work has been reviewed in The Boston Globe and Art New England and is included in collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum at Harvard, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Fidelity Corporate Collection, among others. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Pratt Institute and a Bachelors of Arts from Smith College. She teaches meditation and Shambhala Buddhism at the Boston Shambhala Center in Brookline.

Mary Lang, Near Long Beach

Mary Lang, Near Long Beach, WA, 2013, Archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches.

Mary Lang, The last morning at Karmê Chöling

Mary Lang, The last morning at Karmê Chöling, June, 2014, Archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches.

Mary Lang, Urubamba River Valley from the train window

Mary Lang, Urubamba River Valley from the train window, Peru, 2013, Archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches.