Wherever she goes, Babette Mayor brings her camera. “I know from experience that I could find the most amazing image right around the corner,” she says.
The art professor’s perception paid off when three of her photographs were accepted into a national competition held by 1 Pound Gallery, a fine art, photography and print studio in Virginia. The gallery’s “Demons & Monsters” exhibition, held for the entire month of November, features 14 photographers from across the nation whose images reveal real or implied inner demons and monsters.
Inspired by Halloween and El Día de los Muertos, Mayor takes pieces of different photos and combines them into one photograph.
“Although these two holidays have different meanings, both have origins involving death and/or ancestor worship, and both are celebrated publicly in a very visual way,” Mayor says. “I find the colors, images, and decorations of the holidays to be inspiring as well as psychologically intriguing. Neighborhood front yards, back alleys and even store windows are not off limits.”
While some of her previous paintings and photographs explore the symbolism of death and religion, Mayor says that these reflect interests in urban rituals and place identity. “I have been intrigued with this idea of what defines a place for over a decade, and my interest in rituals really evolved from that,” Mayor says.
“Taking photos forces me to observe my surroundings and I am constantly reminded through that act of looking of how issues of religion, politics, and especially commercialism, can impact and visually define a location and its people.”
Mayor has taught at Cal Poly Pomona since 1990. As the recipient of numerous awards, including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Faculty, she is responsible for the development of the graphic design degree at Cal Poly Pomona.
The exhibition can be seen online at https://onepoundgallery.com/current-exhibition/call-entries-demons-monsters/.