Jenny Riffle

Jenny Riffle was born in Washington state in 1979; she holds a BA in photography from Bard College, and an MFA in Photo, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts. Riffle’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and featured in numerous publications worldwide including Photo District News (PDN), The Independent, Zeit Campus, and Yen Magazine; her monograph Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting was published by Zatara Press in 2015. Riffle has received several awards including FotoFilmic’s Buschlen Mowatt Nichol Foundation Award in 2016, The Pilkington Prize in 2015, PDN’s 30 in 2014 and the Aaron Siskind Foundation Grant in 2013. Riffle lives in Seattle, where she teaches at Photographic Center Northwest and shoots editorial assignments for The New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Telegraph Magazine, and The California Sunday Magazine, among others.

The Sound of Wind is a rediscovery of the Pacific Northwest through my memories of growing up there and my present experiences. I took for granted my surroundings until I left home and lived elsewhere. Every time I came back I would see it with new eyes. It seemed that every place I went contained some memory of childhood forgotten and unappreciated.

There is a captivating beauty here that inspires people, and there is also a darkness. I am drawn to the places in between dreams and reality, somewhere between memory and the present experience. I walk around and look out into the woods, seeing them anew and seeing them through the veil of memories at the same time. I look up at the moss covered branches and I remember nights spent sleeping outside in the dark looking up to see a thousand hairy spider legs instead of branches and quickly hiding under the covers. I remember ants crawling all over my feet and my father trying to calm me down, telling me that the ants will not bite. I remember the Pacific Ocean stretching for as far as the eye can see. Unknown forces of nature can be terrifying, but they can also be profoundly beautiful. It is this balance that draws me to the Pacific Northwest.