Donna Bassin, Ph.D., born in Brooklyn, is a lens-based artist and filmmaker. Influenced by her work as a clinical psychologist, Donna uses art to explore the creative edge of collective loss, grief, mourning, and transformation. She is known for her documentaries, Leave No Soldier and The Mourning After, and her photo series The Afterlife of Dolls – featured on PBS’ State of the Arts and received a Golden Bell and Gradiva Award. She was selected as a recipient for the 2021 New Jersey Council on the Arts Fellowship in Photography and selected as one of the Top 50 photographers in Critical Mass 2022.
Her work has been juried into national exhibitions and has been published in periodicals such as Tricycle, Fotonostrum, Grazia, and Lens Magazine, and featured on book covers and in private collections.
Donna’s current projects, My Own Witness: Rupture and Repair and Precious Scars, explore the human desire for reconciliation in the wake of social fractures. My Own Witness: Rupture and Repair was recently featured in the Newark Museum for the 2021 New Jersey Arts Annual: ReVision and Respond as well as solo exhibitions at Soho Photo Gallery in New York City and Passaic County Arts Center in New Jersey. Precious Scars was curated at the Jamestown Arts Center’s RAW: Reassessment and Wonder in Rhode Island.
Environmental Melancholia, her newest series, uses visual metaphors using landscapes to bring attention to the Earth’s fragility and engage with the public’s difficulty in comprehending the potential losses by our current ecological threats.
These constructed landscapes respond to the chronic ecological threats and engage with the public’s difficulty in comprehending the potential losses. At first glance, the photographs are pictorial and idyllic, but a closer look disrupts the sublime. I have interacted with the images by using unexpected color shifts, scale, and composition and physically layering the photographs with fragments from other photographs with Japanese washi mending tape or photo corners. I have created visual metaphors bringing attention to the earth’s fragility and suggesting a hypothetical outcome when our natural world will be experienced only as a souvenir photograph in a scrapbook.