Los Angeles, CA, USA
Cathy Immordino is a Los Angeles-based photographic artist, whose layered images form composites of personal experience and public spaces. Drawing on techniques and methods from fine art and photojournalism, Immordino’s optical layering serves as an evocative visual allegory for the complex narratives of life and memory.
Immordino began her photography career after years of being a film actress, a set of experiences whose highs and lows she documented, along with architectural and urban landscape photographs of Hollywood at night.
In subsequent projects and series, including a major endeavor based on her own ancestry and the history of immigration in her immediate family, she has continued to refine and evolve this fundamental structure. Layering her own stories and observations against backdrops of iconic architecture, landscapes, and public spaces where they unfolded. In this way, she collapses both time and space in a surreal but familiar language composed of art history, biographical reportage, and photographic technology.
Immordino has exhibited her work in galleries and institutions across the United States and co-founded the Shed Collective. She is associated with MOPLA, the LA Center for Photography, the Los Angeles Art Association, Center Santa Fe, and the Society of Photographic Educators.
Cathy is a prolific photographic artist and single mom to two children on the Spectrum. In her spare time, she raises awareness for toxemia, a pregnancy complication that nearly took her life, and the life of her unborn son in 2014.
The task of raising children is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts, will power, and the ability to look failure in the face and still get up the next morning. Children consume your time, your energy, your money, your love. Hours of frustration are stitched alongside moments of joy. However, if you have a child diagnosed on the Spectrum, child-rearing is a bit more complicated.
Relationships once held dear give way to constant therapy appointments, learning routines, and coping mechanisms. Educating the world on how to treat your child can be draining, stressful, and feel like a vicious cycle and never-ending process. Life isn’t always predictable, but it can still be rewarding. In the field of medicine, a residency is a time of growth in knowledge and professional development - quite similar to the lifelong task of motherhood.
Residency in Motherhood Series (2019) was inspired by the work of Grete Stern, Imogen Cunningham, and Hannah Hoch. It is a limited edition series featuring images of my children layered with the range of emotions I feel as a mother. My emotions are made visible by the deep Prussian blues of the cyanotype process. Brushing emulsion onto the paper, I exposed it with a CO2 laser as the light source. The ending result is a new image that is half cyanotype and half-burnt paper. The act of burning the paper equates to the brevity of childhood; a reminder to cherish all moments, even the difficult ones. Post rinsing and drying, colored pencil and gold watercolor paint were added to symbolize strength and endurance, playing off the tones of blue.
As with most things in life, there is a fine line to walk and a delicate balance to maintain in order to succeed. Creating these images was both cathartic and rewarding. And, it is my hope that over time, my Residency in Motherhood will be deemed triumphant in the end.