Margaret Stratton

(b.1953; resides Iowa City, IA)

These projects suggest that future documents of humanity, of civilization, will be indicated not by the presence of the human form, but by its absence: by vacant, abandoned sites: crumbling chapels and silent sanitariums, the neglected grave sites and makeshift shrines, the layered generations of catacombs.  - Margaret Stratton

The skeletons of once-magnificent Neapolitan buildings populate Margaret Stratton’s photographs, from her series Ancient Ruins, Abandoned Naples: A Photographic Study, working to capture states of mind instead of simply the physical environment. In these images, Stratton explores the unwritten history of a place and its culture, sketching the relationship among architecture, ruins, and religion. The works themselves have a haunting, almost eerie quality, drawing attention not to what remains of the environment but instead to what was taken away.

Stratton, who studied at the Evergreen State College (BA, 1977) and the University of New Mexico (MA, 1983 and MFA, 1985), has exhibited extensively around the United States. The recipient of several NEA Fellowships, Stratton also has work in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Smith College, and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ.