romaine orthwein photography Series About Contact

Portal Home Looking Glass Spirit


In my series Portal, I continue to engage the viewer in the question, “What does it mean to belong?” The search for a sense of belonging that I explored in my earlier work is contrasted with the desire to escape through various portals: a painting, a window, a reflection, a computer screen, or one’s imagination.

The interior landscapes of my own homes serve as theatrical backdrops through which I explore themes of isolation, identity and displacement. Imagining my daughter and also my ‘self ’ within these interior stages, the work is both whimsical and haunting. Implicit in each image is the tension between one’s desire for recognition and one’s desire to escape. There is a sense of searching, moving between opposing realms: waking and dreaming, conscious and unconscious, powerful and powerless, real and imaginary. The ambiguous narratives of Portal speak to the connection between place, memory and longing.