Evie McKenna takes photographs of vernacular and formal gardens exploring the interaction of organic elements, the built environment and design. The gardens she chooses to photograph can be in unlikely surroundings, on the side of an apartment building or behind a chain-link fence or in a traditional botanical exhibition. She aims to show the strategies that plants or their gardeners use to either survive in an urban environment or conversely, in a calculated setting, how the shift to pattern and decoration occurs though geometry and form. The notion of one plane of interest or vantage point is a concept she plays with in some of the work. Compositionally, the images strike a balance between the artificial and natural, revealing a co-dependency between the plants and their man-made environment. Influences that involve hand labor like fiber arts, calligraphy, ornamental ironwork along with traditional Celtic patterns are present in her photography along with a deep appreciation of abstract painting.
Evie McKenna has been an educator in the NYC area at the School of Visual Arts, Brooklyn College, Pratt and Moore College. She has worked as a photo editor and researcher at The New Yorker, New York Magazine, People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Magnum Photos along with various freelance clients. She is an avid gardener and environmentalist in the Jackson Heights, NY community.