Greer Muldowney

likes photography

Small Run Books 2018–

These small projects have been collected into hand-made books. If you would like a copy, or prints from these volumes, please contact me for more information.

The Mary Tree (2022)

In May 2020, a few weeks into quarantine, I was wandering around a garden center near my home. Masked and squeamish about others even while outside, I found some fleeting comfort amongst the rows of plants and trees.

Then my phone rang.

“Greer, Mary’s dead. She had a fall.”

The rest was a blur. I could only concentrate on the plant I had been caressing as I tried to absorb more terrible news. When the call ended, I impulsively grabbed the “China Doll” tree in hand and took it home, spending the next year trying to keep it alive as a poor substitute for the friend I had barely begun to know.

The plant became a repository for regrets: regrets about making plans and never keeping them; regrets about assuming she’d always be prancing down the hall with a smile; regrets about never receiving an invitation to have me over for dinner. In isolation, her absence compounded until it weighed more heavily than any connection we’d ever had.

In the year after Mary’s death, the plant’s declines and triumphant recoveries became a meditation – one of loss and control, caretaking and survival, as well as the process of mourning itself.

Limited Edition Hand-sewn with tree insert, 6x6”, 24pages

50 Years (2022)

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, decided on January 22nd, 1973. The Court ruled that the constitution protected the right to have an abortion, securing choice and bodily autonomy for American women.

Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health, No. 19-1392, 597 U.S., nullified the precedent of Roe v. Wade on June 24th, 2022. This decision has left reproductive rights to be decided on a state by state basis, compromising the health and access to healthcare for half of the country after 49.5 years of the constitutional right to do so.

A legal precedent set 50 years ago can feel like settled law, or even an abstract societal touchstone, depending on one’s perspective. But the temporality of law, especially within the contentious landscape of the nation’s culture wars, complicates and collapses our understanding of time, rights, social norms and politics.

The following is a musing on the shifting political and cultural icons that have had a longer lifespan than Roe v. Wade. We may want to ask ourselves why certain things have endured, and why they may not in the future.

Limited Editions staples, 8.5x5”, 16 pages

Growth (2023)

A musing over the cyclical nature of caring for plants. Images only.

Limited Edition Hand-sewn with vellum, 5x6.25”, 10 pages