How Aubrey Garwood's Digital Collages Capture the Fleeting Stages of Life

How Aubrey Garwood’s Digital Collages Capture the Fleeting Stages of Life

Aubrey Garwood explores the timeless connection between humans and nature. In her recent series, “Disperse,” the Maryland-based artist photographed and digitally collaged dandelion seeds over images of deep space. Her time-lapse videos of fireflies sparkling against the night sky “emphasize the brevity of life’s stages.”

Not Real Art Artist Of The Day Series

After earning a degree in photography from Towson University and studying Japanese, Garwood assisted several commercial photographers and spent time as a photo editor while creating her own work. She is currently a photographic content coordinator for National Geographic Partners. Sensitive to the subtle movement of leaves and shifting nuances of light, Garwood enjoys hiking and photographing in the Maryland woods. Her love for nature propelled her to ponder life on a deeper scale.

By juxtaposing space with fireflies and dandelion seeds, ephemeral earthly elements that exist for only a few weeks, I highlight how fleeting our own time is compared with the cosmic scale. Our transitory human condition is the ultimate equalizer..

Her meditative photographs have the quiet lyricism of a Haiku poem. Bursts of color and light against dark swatches of space connect day-to-day experience with the realm of the cosmos. Ephemeral arrangements of seeds in her staged constellations are luminous and magical. With elements of abstract, astronomical, and macro-photography, Garwood’s minimalistic images have a painterly quality that dazzles and soothes. Her elegant videos of fireflies capture the effervescence of life itself.

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Aubrey Garwood — Artist Statement

Aubrey Garwood
Aubrey Garwood

Disperse is rooted in childhood memories of wishing on dandelion puffs and watching fireflies—visual metaphors that moving forward often means moving farther from our origins and even ourselves. To flourish, dandelions must disassemble, and fireflies’ illuminations are fleeting. In Disperse, I photographed and digitally collaged dandelion seeds over images of deep space, juxtaposing unfathomable distance and a humble earthly element. Time-lapse videos of fireflies against the night sky emphasize the brevity of life’s stages.

When I create art, first I look within myself and to my experience. I make images because it is how I best understand myself and the world around me. My art is made for myself first, and in that way is artist-centric. However, one of the things I love most about art is its universality. It doesn’t matter what language an artist spoke, where they lived, or in what century. Any viewer can look at a piece and interpret it.

Aubrey Garwood – Grant Submission Works

Aubrey Garwood. Coma. Digital Collage
Digital Collage
16 x 20 inches
Aubrey Garwood. Dust, Digital Collage
Digital Collage
16 x 20 inches
Aubrey Garwood. Nebulous, Digital Collage
Digital Collage
16 x 20 inches
Aubrey Garwood. Radiant Video
Time-lapse video
Aubrey Garwood. Divergent Video
Time-lapse video

Aubrey Garwood – Artist Bio

Aubrey Garwood is a Maryland-based artist whose work explores the theme of connection and how humans relate to one another and nature. In every piece, she tries to help viewers feel the beauty of human interconnectedness and, through that insight, become more compassionate toward themselves, others, and the world.

Before I entered kindergarten, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was, “An artist.” I dabbled in different mediums, but it wasn’t until I got my first camera at age 15 that I felt confident expressing myself artistically. I create a wide range of images, from straight landscapes from my travels, to collages of elements of photographs to form new pieces. I love this diversity of personal expression. – Aubrey Garwood

Aubrey Garwood on the Web And Social Media

Here is where to find out more about Aubrey on the web and social media:

About the Artist of the Day Series

All artworks have been published with permission of the artist. Our "Artist of the Day" series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100's of grant applications we receive. The "Not Real Art Grant" is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists, and this is one way we honor all entries we receive. Find out more about the grant program here.

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis is a writer, photographer, and former New York gallerist based in Richmond, Virginia. She has a masters in fine art, a BA in Russian literature, and is earning a masters in nonfiction writing at Johns Hopkins University, AAP.