My name is Patricia Fortlage and I am a photography-based artist residing in Monrovia. For over fifteen years I worked with nonprofits and NGOs in developing countries as a documentary photographer. Most of the programs I freelanced for have been focused on combatting disease and poverty, with efforts to raise entire communities by focusing on women and girls. It is this community-based work that has aligned with my own desire to raise awareness and solve inequities. Consequently, even my fine art work often has a story to tell.
I learned a lot during that time. I learned that no matter where one lives, we are all doing the very best that we can, and that most welcome support and ideas and collaborations where we can find them. I learned about the generosity of others, especially those in the medical profession, who give of their time and skills freely and fervently to save lives. I learned that my documentary skills as a photographer, while honed, paled in comparison to the real life-saving work done by locals and foreigners united by shared visions. I am humbled to have been allowed to support this treasured work in any small way.
I also learned that in addition to love, food and health, art is sustenance. In so many cultures, art is revered… it is savored. Whether that art be music, paintings, weavings, sculpture, photography… the list goes on… art is contentment for the soul.
To me, fine art means seeing with imagination, creating my own artistic interpretations of the world around me. My goal is to create art that moves people. I hope to sometimes educate and inspire, sometimes shock and surprise, sometimes entertain, and sometimes soothe the mind… bringing even the smallest amount of joy.