gorgeous ruined temples
wilted flowers still vivid
tear-trailed-carved arms and legs
ancient big-bellied goddesses
     sagging from birthing
     sagging from loving            

-Barbara Schmitz

I expected to be embarrassed posing nude at 84 years old, but I was amazed at what an empowering experience it was. In one sense it was so easy it was almost a non-event; in another it was truly a landmark in self appreciation.
- Anonymous

One has the sense that Hellebrand is excavating her own mortality in these photographs while at the same time discovering the eternal female life force in them.

-Paul Cava,
American artist photographer and private photography dealer and publisher. 

The closing lines from Walt Whitman’s great poem “I Sing the Body Electric”:
‘O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only,
but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!'

How can we live fully – or die in peace - if we are afraid to think about death? And what does the future hold for a world that no longer values the temperance and balance that come with hard-won experience?

In this work, Nancy Hellebrand challenges us to ask these questions.  By uncovering her subjects, she takes away our last defense – our ability to hide from aging by focusing on costumes and contexts.

-Andrea Blanch, PhD
President of the Center for Religious Tolerance, a non-profit organization promoting the ideals of peace and religious tolerance. A former mental health commissioner, Andrea is widely known for her efforts in psychiatric rehabilitation, conflict management, and recovery from trauma.

Yet these photographs make me think of a deeper beauty. I think of my heroic beloved grandmother who kept her seven children safe in the pale of Russia and brought them to the safety of South Africa … Her hugs enfolded me in her many layers of fat – she spent all day in the kitchen cooking after all. Her ankles were swollen and her varicosities were obvious. Tears come to my eyes thinking of her. She was perfect.

-Barry Bub, MD
Innovative Teacher of Communication Arts and author