There are many ways to explore photography and over the next few months, we will spend some time exploring our exhibitions through the performing arts. We kicked off this concept in March, when dancer/choreographer Catherine Egan responded to the work of Magda Biernat’s Adrift series.
This Saturday evening (April 1), Blue Sky hosts dancer Tracy Broyles and musician Adrian Hutapea in exploring Lauren Semivan’s series, Observatory. I will join Adrian with voice and sound (answering for some of you the question of what I do in my spare time).
Broyles will begin at 7pm, performing throughout the space for about 90 minutes, interacting with Semivan’s work, exploring wind, geometry, alternate viewpoints, and re-arrangement of linear and perceived time.
Audience is invited to come and go observing for as long as they choose. Sip on a drink (thanks Pike Road Wines), wander, observe, and reflect. A suggested donation of $0 – $10+ will help pay for this and other collaborative programming.
Lauren Semivan’s and Tara Sellios’ exhibitions close on Sunday, April 2, so don’t miss this (almost) final opportunity to engage with this amazing work.
- Lisa DeGrace, Executive Director
The two Drawers photographers whose work is on display this week, Carol Yarrow and Terri Warpinski, both traveled away from home to photograph these wonderful series: Yarrow photographs the many different personalities of primates in the jungle of Cameroon, while Warpinski’s Surface Tension focuses on the Berlin Wall, the U.S.-Mexico Border, and the Israeli-Palestinian separation border and the “multiple and conflicted personalities that complicate these places.”
Terri Warpinski’s series “Surface Tension” focuses on border control and the chaos that often takes place in the areas where the borders are located. Some images focus on the physical land and the areas in which the borders have been made, whereas other images show groups of people anticipating their entrance onto the other side. Warpinski successfully uses diptychs and triptychs to heighten the viewer’s sense of place as well as emphasize the notion of a divide that is physically created on the paper by dividing the images.
Many of the diptychs and triptychs serve as a narrative, leading the viewer from one image into the next. By making these connections there is a better understanding of what takes place in these highly guarded and concentrated borders. Warpinski states, “Walls and fences, embodiments of social and political oppositions, mark and divide the physical landscapes. Surface Tension utilizes various methods for capturing photographic images and incorporates the juxtaposition of images arranged in diptychs, triptychs or single frames.”
Carol Yarrow’s portraits of chimpanzees remind us of our shared ancestry with these “animals” and we’re reminded where we, as humans, truly originated from. Although most people consider apes to be animals, recent studies and lawsuits show that some people and scientists continue to convince the public that chimpanzees are legally human. Yarrow’s photographs only further confirm those statements when you notice the many personalities and human-like traits these chimps exhibit in her photographs.
The studies of animal behavior has a lengthly history when it comes to apes. Although one may point out that most chimpanzee emotions are noticeable in their eyes; they are extremely smart and talented. They know compassion and they know fear – something many humans tend to forget. Yarrow successfully photographs the chimps in their natural environment where they are comfortable with her presence and welcome her by allowing these portraits to be photographed. Yarrow captures the moments where some chimps are in a state of trance and others are completely locked in eye contact with her. Yarrow explains the experience as “life changing and life affirming.”
- Kory Jean Kingsley
The two Drawers photographers whose work is on display this week, Mary Stroud and Tina Tran, both focus on isolation particularly in their homes and neighborhoods: Stroud photographs the abandoned dwellings on the remote Arctic coast of Alaska, while Tran’s work explores the intimate moments that take place inside her brother’s home.
Mary Stroud is a fine art photographer residing 300 miles above the arctic circle in Barrow, Alaska. Originally born and raised in the deep South, Stroud has always enjoyed photography as a hobby but when she moved to Alaska in 2006 she began using her camera more often to focus on her photographic projects and the results are beautiful.
For her series featured in the drawers, Stroud photographed abandoned neighborhoods and dwellings that are slowly deteriorating on the coast of Alaska. In her statement she explains: “Where I find isolation and vulnerability, the Inupiat traditionally find protection and sustenance. It is a distinction that weighs on my mind as I struggle emotionally with my surroundings. I think this is what first attracted me to photographing the dwellings in my community. They don’t belong. Houses stand out conspicuously against the landscape, vestiges of an outside culture, my culture, one that has fatefully assumed dominance.” She strives to answer the questions “What lies within? A healthy household that is warm and inviting? Or one that is cold and dark, succumbing to deterioration within as well as without. Hope or despair?”
Tina Tran is a young photographer who explores her presence in her brother’s home by photographing his living quarters with her Mamiya RZ67 camera. With the use of warm light and color, Tran photographs every-day objects that speak of her brother’s lifestyle. Tran’s photographs successfully depicts a sanctuary that seems to be uninhibited. These photographs give the viewer an idea of an individual who prefers to be unaccompanied – potentially comfortable with the idea of loneliness. Although there is no human presence, Tran makes this sofa look inviting as it appears to be velvet from the warm light.
Tran’s statement explains “In a transient state where I am constantly on the edge of the unknown, I explore the only space that has remained constant over the past year. Currently living in my brother’s living room, I investigate one of the many facets of the “post-grad life,” and document moments of struggle, growth, and a hope for renewal. I am interested in the ideas of response, emotion, repetition and frequent these areas while adapting to living in a private/public space.”
- Kory Jean Kingsley