Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. Chief Seattle
Great blog about an exhibition I was recently part of at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, including the discussion below about my piece by Deborah Krieger of Humble Arts Foundation.
"With any large group exhibition, having many different artist submissions accepted is both a curatorial blessing and a challenge. On one hand, every conceivable juxtaposition of works has the potential to tell a truly exciting story, while on the other, it can be an obstacle to figure out where some outliers should be displayed, whether they be outliers in terms of quality or subject matter. The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center Members Show, up earlier this month in the Crane Building, is a good example of the logistical and artistic difficulties inherent in working with so many diverse voices, styles, and subjects, even within the singular medium of photography."
"The works are divided into roughly four different clusters in the large, airy space of the Photo Arts Center, but they don’t seem to be necessarily linked by particular photographic technique, subject matter, or even aesthetic; instead, the various themes that spring up are made present here and there amidst smaller groupings of between two and four works at a time. This decision is where the strengths of this Members Show lie, as well as within individual works themselves, even when the larger groupings don’t seem to have the same cohesion."
"A pairing of two crisp photographs by Betsey Hansell and Dore Vorum, for example, is cleverer than it initially seems. Here Comes the Sun by Vorum, is abstract, awash with slippery color residue and small air bubbles, while Hansell’s contribution, Untitled, is a more straightforward piece of nature photography, depicting a spray of green spiky leaves laid atop a ground of dry, cracked earth. Yet stepping back from the two works reveals that as different as they may seem, these two works match compositionally: both images are horizontally oriented, with a brownish form that stretches across the painting about four-fifths of the way down. Additionally, the sharp lettering on what seems to be a glass surface in Vorum’s photograph echoes the type of leaves that populate Hansell’s. This pairing is the strongest in the show overall because it does what an exhibition ought to: it makes you look hard at the works of art themselves, allowing you to see new things with each (in this case, comparative) glance."
To read the complete article, click here.
I recently attended a workshop that asked participants to explore “What is the place of art in our lives today?”. We spent time together photographing, discussing and then creating our own stories of how art impacts lives through composite photographs.. For this image I turned the lens on myself, telling my story.
I have always enjoyed being a photographer illuminating the world with my humble lens, but when the world collapsed around me, I got lost and afraid and laid my camera down. Ironically, it was my photography that pulled me back up and helped me learn to live again and see the world in all its glistening light. As artists, we sometimes want to hide from the most powerful healing agent there is: our own ability to create and thrive and be.
Never in my wildest dreams did I believe my work would appear in a museum, but dreams do come true.
The "Making Art from the Museum to the Streets" workshop offered by the Allentown Museum (Allentown, PA) asked participants to explore “What is the place of art in our lives today?”. For three days we wandered and photographed Allentown and shared our own stories. We were then asked to create a story, using a composite photograph, of how art impacts our lives today. I called my piece, "Art Healing the Community", for while wandering the city, I was continuously struck by the shadow cast on Allentown and in particular the museum by the county jail. I wanted this piece to represent how art could heal those in jail, as well as the community where the crimes occurred.
Photographers go to great lengths and expense to keep their cameras still so that a sharp image will be rendered. It is perhaps why I find it so liberating to move mine while shooting. Part of my Swiping the World, One Photograph at a Time Project.
Title: Reaction to our ever changing times
Like a bee being drawn to honey, it was the vibrant colors that drew me to this image. Yet when making the photograph it was only when I removed the color that it began to sing to me. I allowed myself to explore the many possibilities when creating this image and that made all the difference.
Several years ago I made one of my favorite pictures, abandoned buildings covered with graffiti and rust, in San Antonio. On a recent trip, I was excited to return to the location to capture the shot that got away. Instead of finding run down buildings, a new restaurant occupied the spot. Besides enjoying the food, what to do. I threw away my preconceptions and allowed myself to see what was before me, rather then what had been.
The pressure I feel when visiting a location that has been photographed so well by so many before me: How to make something that represents me, like the Gehry building in Seattle. I spent a fair amount of time walking around it but it was during the brightest time of the day, with deep shadows I found my voice .. colors shrouded in deep shadows.
I love to paint the colors and textures I find in our amazing world with my camera. Yet when I was making this picture, the colors were a distraction. I kept reducing the saturation until it was black and white. Somehow in the process, capturing my mood about the ever-changing news as it zooms past me.
Several years ago I photographed the Grand Canyon from various vista points, capturing the views as they stretched before and below me. Towards the end of the trip I began to lookup as well. At Desert View Watchtower framed by passing clouds and at the murals painted on the ceilings within. As I continued to wander, light from above caught my attention. Looking up I saw a glass ceiling illuminating stonewalls aged by time and the elements much like the Grand Canyon walls below me.
Look up, look down, look all around, the images surround you.
My friend Grace Kaplan is a truly amazing person and artist. I’ve watched in awe as she travels through life, finding avenues for her creativity. From painting, to drawing, to jewelry to weaving and especially the quilts. For it is Grace’s quilts that have continuously astonished me. Telling a story through bits and pieces of fabric stitched together so beatifully.
As for me, I'm a woman wandering the world with my camera. On a trip to Chicago, I came upon this scene of a colorful building reflected in the windows of another building across the way. It reminded me of one of Grace's quilts and also reminded me of our friendship: Dore' and Grace's lives, woven and reflected in each other through the years.
When I photograph an image, I do as much in camera as possible so I don't have to spend a lot of time in post-processing. The endless possibilities can be truly overwhelming and lead me away from my original intent.
To that end, I've simplified my post-processing by using Lightroom and Nik to create the image in my mind's eye. Having said that, sometimes I need to venture into Photoshop. Simple things seem to take forever because I'm unfamiliar with it.
Time for a change. I've resolved to embrace Photoshop. Here's my first attempt at blending two of my images together.
I recently came upon a great mural that needed something to make it pop, like this group of men who happen to walk by. The person who doesn't feel comfortable taking people pictures suggested they would look great in front of the mural and they just started posing.
It isn't a great image, low light/no tripod and I didn't take the time to frame the shot in my mind's eye, but I'm a proud of myself for it's an image with people. Part of my Things I Don't Photograph Project.
I don't feel comfortable photographing people and landscapes. I know what I like: architecture, reflections, color, and zooming in close, so that's what I shoot.
My challenge this year is to photograph things that make me uncomfortable and share them. Here's the first in my Things I Don't Photoghraph Project.