Making art and being creative during the pandemic was a struggle. I photograph by moving through the world, particularly through unfamiliar places, and suddenly one was not able to move through the world.
Although I live in a dense urban environment, New York City, it is to the natural world that I turn for contemplation and inspiration, as an antidote to dense urbanity. It is the natural world which is the locus of most of my art making. Not being able to access much nature during the pandemic was soul-wearying.
During the pandemic, I craved beauty more than ever, and in my search for beauty, I photographed a natural phenomenon in the city which brings me great pleasure every year, autumn leaves turning color and falling. Because I was fortunate to have the Hudson River Park one block from my apartment, and it was about the only place I could go and did go, often, the autumn leaf change from green to yellow, pink, red, purple and brown became my fleeting subject matter. I was captivated by the brilliant color against day after day of severe clear blue skies during our particularly beautiful autumn of 2020. The symbolism of leaves turning color and dying . . . to be reborn the following spring, is all about the eternal return. Hope.
Sally Gall lives and works in New York City. Her work is in numerous museums and collections worldwide. She has published three books of photographs, The Water's Edge, Subterranea, and Heavenly Creatures. Sally has been awarded several prestigious fellowships which include two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency, and Director's Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.