By M Sebastian Araujo
Recently I had the chance to have a chat with Marisa Geraghty right after a stay in the famous “Dune Shacks”…how good it was to see these images of her stay and also get to know just when the right time is to click the shutter and create the amazing ART she creates.
Why do you create Art?
When I think about why I create art, the quote by Anais Nin comes to mind, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” I think that applies to any art form. I love photography because as I am doing it, I am completely immersed in the moment and all of the details that are a part of it. When I go back and edit my photos and look at them multiple times, I get to relive the experience a little bit more. And each time I look at them, there is always a different detail that grabs my attention. In some ways, it makes me feel like I get to stretch moments by freeze framing them in a photograph. I love to create art to tell a story, whether it’s about people who I meet or places I go. Every one of them has a story, and there are so many interesting things about each of those stories. Photography tells a visual story. There are no words, so you really have to use your imagination to “read” the story, and each person that looks at that photo may have a different interpretation of what that story is. I also enjoy the documenting of life that photography does, whether it’s an everyday moment or an important event, it’s all part of a story.
Was there an Aha! A moment when you knew you were an Artist?
I’ve loved photography since I was a kid, so I feel like it is something I grew into rather than something that came with an Aha! moment. There was a time a number of years ago, however, when I was frustrated with things in my life and I learned on my photography as a way to slow myself down and think through things to find the right path for myself. I remember having a moment on a walk during that time when I thought, “You know, I really ought to pursue this passion that is the very thing I keep turning to while I figure out exactly what it is I want to do!” I guess it was kind of like the Kathy Mattea song “Standing Knee Deep in a River (and dying of thirst)”! Sometimes you know from a very young age what your path is, and other times you have to wander around a bit before you find it. I don’t mind that I had to wander a bit first because along the way, I’ve collected something from every experience that I know has made me a better photographer.
What is it about Cape Cod and P-town that has always attracted Creative People?
Cape Cod still has so many miles of shoreline that aren’t developed or marred with high-rise hotels, thanks to President Kennedy designating so much of it as a National Seashore.The wildness, beauty, and sense of remoteness in some parts are a natural draw for artists. Provincetown, in particular, situated way out at the tip of the peninsula, where the seashore feels the most untouched and wild to me, has always been a place that has welcomed every eccentric artist and people of all types, a kind of safe haven to express yourself. One of the great things about art is that it is subjective. It’s not meant to be judged, just enjoyed. Each person finds their own beauty in it. And I think that’s how the Provincetown community treats people – no judgment, just enjoy and find beauty in each other. I’ve also heard it said by many other artists, and I agree, that the light on the Cape is like no other. I’m sure there is a scientific explanation, but I prefer to just keep believing that it’s the magic in the landscape!
Who is your favorite Artist and Why?
I have always admired Ansel Adams for the way he used black and white to capture the grandeur of landscapes. Often it’s the stunning colors of a sunrise or sunset, or the colors of the landscape itself that people identify with great landscape photos. Yet, Adams was able to strip the color away and make natural landmarks standout in an architecturally beautiful way. I think, through his black and white photography, he injected more emotion into the photos and turned these places into works of art in which you marvel at things like shadows, the contrast between dark and light and the sizes and shapes and architecture of natural formations. He was also a great environmentalist, so he cared deeply for what he was photographing. I think his work was a great visual love letter to the places he loved, and he was able to use his work to help protect those places as well. I have many artist friends who I admire as well, and they are truly the ones who have taught and inspired me through how they’ve helped me along the way, to always give my art my gratitude and a willingness to use it to help others.
Inspiration comes to many who live, love and laugh amid the sandy shores of old Cape Cod. It affects not just their life but their work as well. Sometimes it becomes their work…and that is something that inspires us all! As the world spins so fast these days I think we all need some of that inspiration that shines out from the tip of Massachusetts in the world and perhaps a bit beyond!
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