I believe we are profoundly affected by the landscape of our childhood. It establishes our sense of space and how we fit into it, and we recognize as familiar those places encountered later in life which resemble it. I was born in Iowa, and grew up in the southeast corner near the Mississippi River in an area of limestone bluffs and wooded ravines. Visits to my grandparents meant drives to central Iowa through gently rising and falling open fields. These landscapes serve as my point of reference when I photograph in other parts of the world. I think Iowa and its openness made me aware of the horizon and sensitive to smaller variations in the land’s surface.
Scientist, educator, photographer: Judith Eastburn was born in 1944, and grew up in Burlington, Iowa. Her photography experience began with a box camera and prints ordered from the neighborhood drugstore. She earned a BA in Zoology at the University of Iowa in 1966, followed by a Master’s degree in Microbiology. In the ‘70s she taught Microbiology at the University of Alabama and worked in labs in Alabama and Iowa City as a research assistant. These positions included the study of fruit fly populations, cockroach nerve growth, corn photosynthesis and cholera toxin. During this period she found time to begin part-time studies at the University of Iowa Art Department. There she embarked on a lifelong fascination with seeing through her camera and printing in the darkroom. She eventually earned an MA, then an MFA in Photography. Judith has taught photography courses at the university level at SMSU Springfield, Missouri, Richmond-upon-Thames College in England, and Grandview University, Des Moines, Iowa. Other teaching experiences range from photo classes for children 8 - 12 through high school courses in art.
Retired from teaching, Judith Eastburn now enjoys both more travel, with camera in tow, and more time in the darkroom. She uses a medium format camera and works exclusively with black and white film. She develops film and produces all prints in her own darkroom. Since 1980 her work has appeared in 23 juried shows, 16 invitational exhibitions and 10 one-person shows.