You are Still a Works in Progress


You are Still a Work in Progress, a photographic exhibition by Tina West.

The opening reception will be held on Friday, March 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
The show will runs through April 20, 2017 at the Thornhill Gallery at Avila University.

The beauty of Tina West’s latest show lies in the maturity and wonder of her still lives.With each image, West stages her scene with unique treasures from her vast collection. Allowing them to speak to her, rather than the opposite, each object is chosen because of each object’s sheer attraction.

The sharp subconscious connection West feels to her still life objects comes across strongly. This produces a magical end product that has both transformed and repurposed the photographed objects entirely. Though still lives are considered a classic image, West exemplifies a charming, experimental take that pushes the boundaries of the historical still life.

The invitational image, Constraint Inspires Creativity, embodies the breadth of her work in capturing a warm rich okra-gold “Do Not Disturb” sign against a similar background. The photo feels cryptic and almost treasure-like, giving the viewer a hint of her alluded creativity. The title is just as interactive, playing not only off the sign’s words but also off the image’s overall emotion.

West’s still lives have a true sense of being, with powerful cast shadows and light-play. This creates a connection not only between the objects photographed, but between the viewer and the photograph as well. All Images in this exhibit are created using instant film, Fuji on her most recent images and Polaroid on her earlier works.

SO for the images we will start with the most recent to oldest.

These 2 images where created this year after 9 months of cancer treatments

This is not who we are but where we are

Take a look at the shadow.
The feather in a beaker is  a symbol of hope, freedom and purity
balanced with a dark figure and a more oppressive shadow.

         Concealment is divinely necessary

The working name for this image is “The Beach”
the reclining figures looked as if they were on the beach being over seen by Big Brother


These 20 images are the original images from the 11/12/2015
You Are Still a Works in Progress show at Robin Rice Gallery, NYC.

After-all-this;-this-is-how-people-prayAfter all this; this is how people pray


El-Primer-ManuscriptoEl Primer Manuscripto

Bought this book at a Flea Market in Barcelona.
The drawings on the inside didn’t even cost extra


Intermittent-cloudsIntermittent Clouds

These little boats came in a handmade box which included wavesIMG_0032


Spartan Foundation

This image and the following one were the beginning of a pattern that developed over time
as I created this show. The little Monopoly-toy-looking Ferris Wheel the connection piece


Interpret-this-harmony-as-beautyInterpret This Harmony as Beauty


Experience is a Brutal Teacher

empty vials of rabies medicine



Spring 2015 TED talks were focused on artificial intelligence and how children learn




Thought-is-the-architect-of-realityThought is the Architect of Reality


An-appreciation-for-the-imperfect-and-impermamentAn Appreciation for the Imperfect and Impermanent

Only live bug I have ever photographed


Maximum-effect-of-DisplacementMaximum effect of Displacement


History-is-about-ChangeHistory is About Change

yes, this is about race and fading power


History-of-hostilityHistory of Hostility

The man is Pope Pius XI, a postage stamp. The scrap of paper was found on the streets of NYC.
They are pages from a psychology book discussing homosexuality as a mental illness


Commit-errors-of-appreciationCommit Errors of Appreciation

A crown of thorns made from hair out of a drain. The background is a collage I made many years ago


Dream-of-being-caught-nakedDream of Being Caught Naked

This is about immigration and the refugee crisis on Europe


Reason-by-analogyReason by Analogy

This set had a number of different stages this image and the following image the connector is the red on the sides.


Sexualized-Nature-of-ConsumptionSexualized Nature of Consumption


You-can-write-my-biography-but-you-can't-have-my-soulYou can write my biography but you can’t have my soul

The original concept was a triptych and the camera was slid right to left of this re-creation
of a shelf in my studio, thus the autobiographical reference.


Seduction-and-ViolenceSeduction and Violence

This image was created with the show but was not included during the 11/11/15 show.
This is just sexy


The following images are from previous shows and have been included in the exhibt at Thornhill Gallery to see the interacting of older images and more recent images

Taxonomy-of-MemoryTaxonomy of Memory


Redundant-FundamentalistRedundant Fundamentalist



There is an earlier post in this blog that talks about the mosquito.
It is beautiful that the antennae create a heart shape.


Chrlsys-and-CoccoonChrlsys and Coccoon

After the fly sat in a window sill for a couple days without moving, I realized it was perfectly dead.


Book-ThreeBook Three

The page is out of a book of Aristotle, book three of what I do not know


Follow-the-Bouncing-BallFollow the Bouncing Ball

2011, The buildings had crumbled, you can follow the bouncing ball they don’t bounce anymore,
Tower 2 World Trade Center.

Quality-of-NaiveteQuality of Naivete

That is my wisdom tooth and a dunce cap. Wisdom, Knowledge and Ignorance who is truly niave

Three-Minor-InfluencesThree Minor Influences

This is about the spoon. A spoon, a silver spoon from Tiffany’s. Born with a sliver spoon on their mouth




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Sept. 2011

I had the pleasure to get away and take a weekend trip to Oklahoma City.
Many people would wonder why it was a pleasure.
Technically it was a business trip.
The sidewalks rolled up very early on a Saturday night,
I thought I might be in the twilight zone.

What this trip removed me from was the weekend media events which memorialized an event, a day. I was asked why I didn’t want to even watch or listen to any broadcast.

I wasn’t a victim, but I was a witness to a tremendous loss that ran so psychically deep in the heart of New York City. I didn’t actually see the towers turn to rubble. But I watched hundreds of dust covered zombies with eyes full of disbelieve and shock searching for a way home. They had walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and up Flatbush Ave trying to get a subway or bus to take them home. Asking everyone they passed how do I get home I need see my child, I need to let them know I am OK. All the police could do was tell them to keep moving they could get transportation further up the hill, no subways are running, keep moving. All they wanted was to go where they felt safe. home.

I witnessed the sunset, from where I have seen the sunset since 1996, DUMBO Brooklyn right under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Within the thick dust and smoke I saw the reality of the hole, the vacuum and loss. But I was at a safe distance all I could see from that viewpoint was a loss of a facet of the crystal that is the New York Skyline.

It was not until a week or so later, I had to go into the city, get in a subway and go under the river and through the tunnels and come to the surface St Vincent’s Hospital.
Flyers were plastered everywhere looking for missing people, many of whom never came home. They were on every place they could be pasted, stapled or taped.
I had to fight back the overwhelming desire to race back down into the tunnel.
To go where I felt safe. home.

Months later I found myself downtown, I needed something for my computer, and the place to go was right there, in the shadow that wasn’t there. All that was there was a big hole in the sky, and in the ground if I dared to go closer. Again an overwhelming desire to race back to the tunnel. To go where I felt safe. home.

I will say that many and much was lost, a part of the heart and soul of the city.
New York is a living entity, a some of the whole. Life goes on.
For a while people lived on a more personal level.
Connecting with people and friends to comfort.
To go where they felt safe. home.

Then there was the miracle the following year. At THE memorial for 9/11 while the service was happening there was a stirring of dust and what ever else is on the ground swirled and rose above the crowd attending. From monitors and television screens it was as if the souls were being released and releasing the living to go, be free live.

So that is why I spent a few moments of silence in Oklahoma City, at a different memorial, to honor life.

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A shifting vision

As a photographer, I have always been aware that a horizon line is a constant in most of my still life imagery. I have even arranged images along the median, creating a common horizon line. (check out the post from Dec/Jan)

Now I find my self developing a completely different viewpoint with the horizontal.

This is where I began to notice this shift.

This image’s working title is “Weird Last Supper”.

As I created images for my most recent solo show, 3.3.10 NYC. I found that I was struggling to keep things contained.

This image “Parade”, is actually part of a series, which the following image is also from and was included in my 3.3.10 show last year.

This is Circus, the working title. These images are on my website if you want to reference them click on this link    Still life gallery

This is where I find myself, struggling against the format as I am trying to compose and create new images. I realize for many other photographers this might not be a struggle. For myself the majority of my imagery is vertically based.
At this time I am feeling horizontally challenged.

I only write about this because it has just became clear to me why I am struggling.
The only explanation is to finish with a viewing of recent travel photos that are cropped to what I was seeing, not to what was actually shot.
Because it is the only way to explain it to myself.

One comment I feel is important before I show more, is that these past images are taken with an old Polaroid Land Camera, which measure 3 x 4 more or less.

The following were digital point and shoot or iphone camera setting was standard not panoramic.

The final image for this post, I felt it needed a slight comment. The intent of this image was to be an auto-portrait. I took a number of them during this trip after experiencing an amazing show of Andre Kertez’ s photographs in Paris at Jeu de Paume.

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New Year, New Beginnings

This gallery contains 22 photos.

This is an out with the old, a post that never got finished to launch some new directions for myself and my photographic images. A story or an explanation or just ramblings So on to the old . . . … Continue reading

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July Post In Memorium

This post is dedicated to a bug.
Not just a bug but a rather larger mosquito found expired in my studio last year.

Who, I was able to place in a photograph that I was struggling to find the missing link.

The finished photograph turned into the invite image for my last exhibit titled “Minutes”

After this photo was taken the bug was placed under a glass funnel.
As this was all I had at the time on my counter
that would allow me to continue to admire this beautiful insect.

A philosopher would have had a better chance of solving this riddle.

It has sat under this glass in my  abandoned studio space.
There were many reasons I had to move back into the house.
The primary reason being way too many spiders.
An artist should no have to vacuum spiders daily to be able to work.

Spiders from a distance can be tolerated.
Spider webs are amazing
Visible and invisible at the same time.

So after a year of sitting under a glass funnel this is what my mosquito became.


So I thanked the bug for allowing me to use it in a photograph
and returned it to the elements so that it could continue its cycle and become dust.

Terminator Mode

A root of an equation is a number which substituted into the equation instead of an unknown converts the equation onto an identity. the root is said to satisfy the equation. Solving an equation implies finding all of its roots. An equation that is always satisfied, no matter the choice of values for its unknown, is called an identity.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

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June Post

I thought I would start off with an event that is for myself inspirational.
Music and the beautiful pristine Flint Hills.
My grandmother came from here, these hills sing out to me.

Endless rolling seaRolling over and over and over endlessly.

A friend in New York City asked if I missed the water.
My reply was in all the years of living in NYC,
I missed the sky.
NYC felt like a large canyon.

To me this is Big Sky Country.

5th annual Symphony in the Flint Hills
(my 3rd)

Some photos of the event

Historic Schoolhouse outside Canyon Falls, Ks.
on the way to Bazaar, Ks the “location” of this years event.

Stagecoach  in the distance.
One of the many activities and educational events
provided during the day before the concert starts.

Cows awaiting.

Just another view of the 600 acre ranch that is hosting the event this year.

Lone Cowboy watching the cattle

Cattle run!! Up and over the hills behind the stage and symphony to the music.
Go Marlboro Man Go!!

Lyle Lovett with the Kansas City Symphony.
the owner of the ranch met Lyle when he was working on a film
about the Flint Hills with PBS  a few years back.
Since the concert was on his ranch he invited Lyle to perform with the symphony.
That was some big band.

As always the best part of the event

This year it reminded me of a sunset
I watched with a dear friend on the beach at Golden Gate Park.
She told me that on a clear night that there can be a flash as the sun
sinks below the horizon.
It could happen on this endless horizon, or not.
but it was beautiful and quiet.

Final shot as we are heading back to the city
One last glance over horizon at the Flint Hills.

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Hello world!

I am just launching this.

Hang tight

my artist statement is on my about page.

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