Second Place:
L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' Second Place: (click here for larger view)
FROM THE EARTH by Katherine Clayton
(click here for larger view)

Curator Emma Powell: "The image I chose for second place: From The Earth by Katherine Clayton. Though surprisingly similar to the first place image (now that I look at them both), this image stands on its own due to its wonderful sense of mystery. There is something peculiar about the central line that is created by the figure and the visual aspects that collect in the center, making the composition symmetrical.  The mood of this image is enhanced by the slightly warm tone and subtle details, like the edge of the skirt. The character seems to be almost engulfed by the landscape, yet she seems to be taking a stand by pulling up the single plant."

Katherine Clayton: "I did not intend to create an entire series of self-portraits. It just happened. I had just emerged battled and bruised from a two-year fight for my daughter’s life. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer when she was 9 months old. I spent many dark days in fear and on edge.
One day I realized that, perhaps, the darkness was over and it might be possible to return to “normal” life.  Self-portraits were a safe place to work through my emotions.  At the time, the work was about self-preservation and returning to a place of peace and grace. The work was about re-discovery and claiming something special for myself.  I could be in control while at the same time letting the experience shape the final product.
When I look at the images, I see dreams and fantasies. Truth and fiction. Short stories, visions and histories. I see a face strangely familiar and as familiar as that face is, I still find myself discovering who she is."

Using a combination of pinhole and zone plate digital photography, Clayton creates dream-like and often haunting visual narratives.
Her fine art work has been exhibited across the country in galleries and in print including A. Smith Gallery, Kiernan Gallery, Newspace Center of Photography, The Sun, One Twenty-Five Magazine and Center for Fine Art Photography.