Ilka Hartmann Photos

Ilka Hartmann Photos

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It is our great joy to host a number of works by Bolinas photographer Ilka Hartmann from December 13 to February 1st.

We were introduced to her work through the wonderful book she and Orville Schell created in 1976, The Town That Fought to Save Itself, which chronicles the events that helped shape Bolinas into the particularly fantastic free-form place it is now.

Leah Cutting Thistles, Ilka Hartman, Copyright 2014

Her wonderful print Leah Cutting Thistles has been hanging in our shop, a sort of protective goddess figure since it was given to us as a congratulations gift when we were living in Bolinas and opened our shop in the city. The image was taken when Ilka still had a babe in arms, her son Ole, whom she recalls placing by the side of the dirt road in order to shoot frame after frame of Leah taking down a field of thistles.

Ilka has often documented moments of human strength, spending much time with the Native American community and focusing on groups involved in struggles for their rights. Most inspiring are Ilka's own words on her work:

"That's the kind of work I really like- work that has a larger purpose in addition to the recognition of human beings and their dignity. Wanting to change a situation for the better, what I see that can be improved in the world is very strong. I like to contribute what I can. However, I don't think that all art should have a social purpose or be political. It's important to have human spirit and talent come out as well. Even work that is whimsical is important- to express joy and playfulness. I think people need to freely do what they do best.

I work on my own. I think it's important to go your own way, regardless of what's fashionable, and not to be intimidated by what is currently being done. Then, one is most authentic and most happy with one's work and with one's self. Coming from that perspective, it's really wonderful to meet other photographers and other artists because it's equal, and not a competition.

Artists Dialogue October/November 1993

We hope that you join us on Friday, December 13th for an opening party that shares its billing with our annual Meet Your Makers Party. Ilka will be there, and we hope any other inspiring folk. Join us!

Taj Atop the Mountain, Ilka Hartman, Copyright 2014 Ilka Hartman

Shingled Geodesic Dome, Ilka Hartman, Copyright 2014 Ilka Hartman

The Town That Fought to Save Itself, Ilka Hartman, Copyright 2014 Ilka Hartman

Frank Cerda, ca arpenter, union man, sign maker, peace and civil rights activist during a women's carpentry class in Northern California, ca. 1972. Copyright 2014 Ilka Hartman

The Bride's Maid, Ilka Hartman, Copyright 2014 Ilka Hartman