Birgit Fowler Burke is one of the featured women in The Wild Women Exhibition and is a local creative and member of the band Whiskey Slaps. She also helps pets find loving homes as a devoted foster mom for the Laramie Animal Welfare Society. When Birgit found out she was nominated to be a featured as a wild woman, she was a little apprehensive. She says that “there’s a connotation to being ‘wild’ that hopefully I outgrew decades ago… but this kind of ‘wild’, the wild Allison was aiming to capture, was something else. Fierce, courageous, strong, unapologetic. Living life on one’s own terms, rather than trying to fit the social construct. And that, yeah, THAT I could get behind. I was very proud to see myself in the company of these other amazing creatives. Made me want to take it to the next level. Which, really, in a creative community, challenging and supporting each other in our journeys is what it’s all about. Right?”
We decided it was only appropriate to have Birgit’s portrait session in her Laramie home with her foster animals and guitars. She ended up making dinner for both myself and my assistant while we waited for the full moon to rise above her backyard. My assistant was tasked with the job of heating up the steam room and adding lots of water to the stones with the hopes of having a big billow of steam come out into the portraits, adding an interesting element to the scene. For once in Wyoming, it didn’t get cold enough for the steam to really be visible like we wanted, but the full moon made up for it. My assistant had a good time sitting by himself in the steam room in his swim trunks while we took photographs outside. A tough gig. Birgit says that her favorite part of the session was “the steam generator’s job.” Read on to see more of the story and what advice Birgit herself has to tell you.
What do you think of the Wild Women Exhibition?
“The Boarding House Gallery has so much class! Its a great, intimate, but remarkably spacious gallery space. The show itself was uplifting. The energy of these women, the love and independence and sass, that Allison captured so perfectly! Beautifully photographed, beautifully printed, beautifully framed and hung. I was not surprised to see the quality of folks the show attracted.”
What was your biggest fear or concern before your session?
“oh, that I’d have a bunch of really crappy pictures of me that made me look like a posed idiot. And no, it did not come true. She edited the shoot before I saw it, for one thing, so I didn’t see the really horrid shots. Also, she put me at ease and let me do what I was comfortable doing, so, no surprise that she caught a very real portrait of who I am. And she did some incredibly lovely pet portraits for me that were a super bonus. I really, really, really love the photos! She caught me laughing and happy and at ease in my surroundings. My mom’s going to love them.”
What keeps you wild?
What advise do you have for other women to stay wild?
Birgit is currently working on multiple musical projects as well as fostering a very sweet terrier dog named Reba. She is simmering on a swing/jazz standards/blues project as well as a project regarding the re-emergence of the old British ballads band she used to be in, with new people and some new tunes. She is still committed to exploring more tunes with Whiskey Slaps, her local three piece Laramie band, as well as on her own solo projects. She has started writing for one of our Wild Women Exhibition sponsors, News From Nowhere, again and has been picking up some art gigs lately as well. If you are interested in collaborating on creative projects, contact Birgit at email@example.com. You can also adopt Reba or another adoptable dog or cat at LaramieAnimals.org by contacting them here. Click here to learn more about The Wild Women Project or nominate a wild woman you know to be featured in the next exhibition. Until then, stay wild!