About the Photographer
Edna Bullock began her career as a photographer in 1976 at the age of sixty-one, one year after the death of her husband, Wynn Bullock, also a well-known photographer. Becoming a photographer was not one of her aspirations until after the death of her husband, when she felt an increasing urge to pursue her own creative work. Having observed her husband behind the camera for thirty years—and having inherited his equipment and darkroom—she enrolled in a beginner's photography course at Monterey Peninsula College to learn the technical aspects of the medium. In a matter of a few years, she progressed from being a student to teaching workshops and exhibiting her photographs.
Although Bullock dealt with a variety of subjects over her twenty years as a photographer, she eventually came to concentrate on the nude, both male and female, which she primarily photographed in natural environments. Her work reflects an accumulated sensitivity to the body and its movements, informed by her past experiences as an instructor of dance and physical education. Yet her portrayal of the human figure is often as evocative or metaphorical as it is formal or kinetic, at times with mythic and erotic qualities. In Three Nudes on the Dunes (1990), a trio of reclining female figures appears in the middle of a wind-blown desert landscape, their distant forms subtly mirroring the slanting dunes and sparse vegetation in the background.
Edna Bullock completed an associate degree at Modesto Junior College, Modesto, CA (1936), and a bachelor’s degree in physical education at the University of California, Los Angeles (1938). She taught many photographic workshops and exhibited extensively in California and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. A monograph entitled Edna’s Nudes was published in 1995, coinciding with a traveling solo exhibition of the same title (1995-1996). Spectrum Gallery in Fresno, CA, mounted a retrospective of her work in 1998, shortly after her death. Her work is held in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France; the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson; Michigan State University, Lansing; Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Monterey, CA; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; and the University of California, Santa Cruz, among other institutions. Edna Bullock was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the State of California in 1995.