Photographer Heidi Lender spent the first part of her career as an editor, writing about style and appearances in a world of high-end fashion. In a pursuit of a different kind of life, the artist left that world to move to India and to study yoga, before finding her voice behind the lens of a camera. She now splits her time between Amagansett, New York and Garzon, Uruguay, focusing all of her attention on image-making.
Once Upon is a whimsical play on self portraits, focusing on Lender as the headless subject of each image. In the photographs, the artist explores combinations of wardrobes and surrounding spaces as reflections of her personal self. She says, “With a platform on which to stand, I investigate the host of personalities within, the layers that make up the self, the characters we hide, show, accept and reject, and the role that fashion and design play in molding those characters.” Standing on all kinds of surfaces including a stack of suitcases, a ladder, and an old, used tire, Lender exhibits how different wardrobes and environments can quickly alter the way that a person is perceived by the outside world.
Lender's past work includes a photographic shout-out to supermoms around the world, a project entitled She Can Leap Tall Buildings.