A juried international photography exhibition
June 23 – July 13, 2014
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Harmony is an elusive, perhaps even ineffable aspect of photographic images. Although many photographers share the view that the communicative impact of images is enhanced by their harmony, there are countless individual artistic interpretations of what makes an image harmonious. Some consider harmony primarily as a visual compositional feature of photographs, also allowing for the unusual, for the unexpected, or even for the disturbing when it comes to compositional harmony. For many others, harmony is also a thematic concept, and they find harmonious elements in the communicative content of the image, arising from the various interactions depicted in the photograph.
Ross Laurence Anderson (St. Paul, MN, USA), Deborah Davis (Lafayette, CO, USA), William Wesley Douglas III (Chesapeake, VA, USA), Aurora Giampaoli (Lucca, Italy), Holly Harrah (Columbus, OH, USA), Catherine Kirkpatrick (New York, NY, USA), Christine Hinz Lenzen (Marquette, MI, USA), Harry Longstreet (Bainbridge Island, WA, USA), Geena Matuson (Medfield, MA, USA), Nancy Olivery (Brooklyn, NY, USA), Ryuten Paul Rosenblum (San Anselmo, CA, USA), Sean D. Ruttkay (Wrightsville Beach, NC, USA), Lucia Švecová (Svidník, Slovakia), Benita R. VanWinkle (Winston-Salem, NC, USA), Douglas A. Yates (Ester, AK, USA)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
High quality (ProLine Pearl Photo paper) exhibition catalogue is published with Blurb Books. (Please note that for some reason Blurb's preview is low resolution. It is suitable for studying the design and layout of the catalogue, but it does not always present the photographs faithfully. The print catalogue, however, is professional high quality.)
It is indeed remarkable how photographers with considerably different conceptions of harmony can nevertheless create images that work so cohesively together in a thematic exhibition. Some proceed to engage our visual aesthetic sense and sensibilities, some steer towards conceptualizing the notion of harmony, while others combine approaches. They all make us reflect on our own notions of harmony, enriching and moving forward our previous conceptions.
Juror’s choice Aurora Giampaoli’s Il Carillon (The Carillon) is not only a powerful individual image, but it is also part of the series “Il favoloso mondo” (“The Fabulous World”). Two other photographs from this series are also included in the exhibition. Il Carillon is a creative and thoughtful photographic interpretation of the music box ballerina souvenir genre. Naturally, the photograph makes us vividly recall the sweetly chirping music of the carillon, but does so with a twist. The viewer becomes eyewitness to the moment when the ballerina steps out of her role, no longer obeying the invisible hand winding up the machinery. Her hushing gesture is gracefully firm, taking the initiative as if that were the true order of things. The subtle harmony of this gesture turns rebellion into a calm and quiet momentary rest for the ballerina and the machinery alike. The monotonous background of the photograph focuses and closes the carillon into a world of its own, with the enormous key and the ballerina consuming all of our visual attention. The swing of the tulle tutu still gives us the impression of the not so remote movement, while its lines and angles are distinctly at odds with the unusual posture of the renegade music box ballerina. Our eyes might dance a bit on and around the tutu, but we soon arrive at the hushing and shushing hands and lips, and at her resolute gaze. It is her turn now, and we wish we could hang around for the next show, for it will surely be harmony for the ear, the eye, and the mind.
The three honourable mentions also present forceful photographic interpretations of the theme harmony. Ross Laurence Anderson’s Boy & Ball, Istanbul immediately captures our eyes with the rhythmic harmony of the circular shapes in the image. The tension between the grave composition of the woman in the shade and the playful zigzag of the boy and his shadow creates a tranquil feeling of life just being fundamentally all right if such scenarios may emerge from it. Ryuten Paul Rosenblum’s Schwarzwald Morning Fog has an almost hypnotic calming effect. The subtle colours converging towards monochromatic simplicity help us concentrate on the defining horizontal line of the image. Yes, it might very well be how we can perceive and conceive morning fog in the Black Forest or beyond, having finally understood the harmony of all there is. From the soothing fragile mood created by Anderson’s and Rosenblum’s images we are quickly sobered to admire the sharp beauty of precise composition in Lucia Švecová’s Untitled (from the series “A Place in Paris”). Švecová’s photograph strongly affects us with the unexpected sequence of colours and shapes, leaving us with the desire of travelling this inspiring image via another visual route yet again.
The juror’s choice and the honourable mentions are in the excellent company of a number of impressive photographs selected for this exhibition, although we can mention only a few of them here. Deborah Davis’ Five Mannequins captures a truly unique and harmonious atmosphere emerging from the visual interaction between the night street and the shop window. Catherine Kirkpatrick’s decaying poppies reinterpret still life with all the power of black and white photography’s tonal harmony. Christine Hinz Lenzen’s Wakefield, MI and Sean D. Ruttkay’s Solace gently turn our attention towards the harmony of waterscapes. Harry Longstreet’s Drum Solo generates interest in the art of the drummer by portraying the intent attention of his fellow musicians. Nancy Oliveri’s Black Rectangle exemplifies the harmony of sober stability in chaotic turbulence.
Harmony finds its ways. The images of this exhibition are a testament to how pronounced its presence is all around us.