It’s not easy to use humor, simplicity, and self-portraits to talk about ourselves, but Heidi Lender has done it brilliantly in her new series, She Can Leap Tall Buildings. Wearing a black wig, using a few props and simple graphic imagination against a plain wall, Heidi has managed to give a humorous nod to women who can do it all. Heidi (along with Brooke Shaden) will be opening an exhibition at the Open Shutter Gallery in Durango, Colorado on February 24th, running through April 4, 2012.
Heidi’s strong visual and graphic sense comes from a career of writing features and styling photo shoots for national magazine. She has a BA in apparel and textiles from Cornell University and covered style, design, food and travel from New York to Paris. After a soulful search led her to India, and to studying yoga, and she opened her own studio in San Francisco. She now works full time as a fine art photographer, currently splitting her time between Northern California and Garzon, Uruguay.
She Can Leap Tall Buildings: I was in seventh grade in the 1970s when my mother went back to work. It was a traumatic event in my tween lifetime, returning from school to an empty house, my best friend suddenly absent with a plateful of priorities other than me. Mom played the roles of wife, mother, daughter, income-earner, independent-thinker, hostess, dinner-maker, family accountant, homework tutor and household organizer without a bat of her mascara’d eyelashes. Preoccupied with growing up, I was oblivious to this amazing juggling act. But from my adult woman perspective, it seems a heroic and near-impossible feat – not to mention a struggle. And, yet, mom did it in style. She never left the house without lipstick and liner, her hair teased and sprayed just so, and kept her standing appointment at the beauty parlor each Friday. My mother wasn’t perfect, but whether driving carpool, volunteering or planning trips, she played it all effortlessly, nary a complaint or sign of stress, and passed on her capabilities to me.
As I move through my own grown-up life with a mountain of responsibilities, I humbly nod to all the superwomen of the world, especially my mother, who amazingly do it all.