The Guild Group Photography Show, “Important Incidentals” features works by Miggs Burroughs, Leigh Liebel, Jeremy Saladyga, Alan Shulik, Majorie Wolfe and Torrance York. “Important incidentals” can refer to fleeting but significant moments, observations made in passing, or interruptions to an expected norm. The phrase can also relate to a detail whose presence changes the meaning of a whole or to a pointed juxtaposition. Branching out from this concept, the exhibiting photographers connect their aesthetic interests.
For Marjorie Gilette Wolfe, a simple visual incident becomes her subject and is abstracted as a series of variations are presented side by side. For Leigh Liebel, in the large scale photograph, Self Portrait #9, the figure of the artist as a metaphorical Odysseus intersects the peaceful horizon of a rooftop infinity pool and the city skyline in the distance.
For Miggs Burroughs in his “Newds” series of lenticular images, the incident is an experience the viewer shares with the person depicted who becomes nude while viewing paintings of nudes in a museum setting. For Torrance York and Alan Shulik, the incident captured articulates their respective subjects. For Shulik, a remarkable landscape showing mesquite trees on the edge of a field of sand dunes is made exceptional as a ray of white light peeks through the storm clouds overhead and illuminates the scene. In Torrance York’s images from the series Refractions, the child subject is seen through a reflection or otherwise mediated element such as a glass of water on the dining table, an optically challenging perspective that asks us to create our own understanding. Finally, Jeremy Saladyga, using an unexpected perspective from ground level captures a moment in the chaos of everyday life-whether a pedestrian filled street intersection in New York City, or a rural carnival scene, within that environment we find relationships among the participants in the scene, imposing our own meaning on the story. For some of the photographers the important incident becomes the subject and for others it is a method for sharing their insights. Of his work in the group show, Miggs Burroughs, a resident of Westport, CT, states, ” I am intrigued by all the journeys, large and small, that are part of our daily lives; through time, space and emotions. From here to there and back again, lenticular imagery allows me to explore each experience in a fresh and somewhat cinematic way.”
In her new work, Self Portrait #9, New York City artist Leigh Leibel, was influenced by the early twentieth century poem “Ithaka” by Constantine Cavafy. Her photograph references the familiar story of “The Odyssey” as metaphor for the journey of life and the discovery of many new harbors.
For Jeremy Keats Saladyga, of New Milford, CT, his works in “Balance” ask driving questions. “With the world’s attention on the human impact on the earth, is it not relevant to directly include the human form in contemporary landscape photography? If the earth’s ultimate existence now relies on human intervention to prevent it from becoming a lifeless world, shouldn’t today’s artists reflect that thought? Has the relationship between the environment and human nature in terms of existence changed in the course of the past one or two centuries or even the past few generations? My hope is that by including the human form in this new body of work, it gives the viewer an additional visual tool to project themselves and thoughts into the images.”
As a landscape photographer, Alan Shulik is often drawn to a particular image because of an incidental or unexpected aspect of a scene that presents itself. One of his photographs in the group show, “Fallen Mesquite Trees,” is an image of Mesquite trees that are located on the edge of a field of sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley, California. Of the image, Shulik says, “A storm was passing through the valley, and there were dark, foreboding clouds covering the dunes. A tiny speck of white light appeared in the clouds for only an instant just above the trees. While its round shape could have been mistaken for the silhouette of the sun or the moon, it was actually just a momentarily illuminated cloud struck by an isolated ray of sunlight. This incidental interplay of light and shadow, a transitional moment that was momentary and ephemeral, was the incidental element that added the special interest to this image.”
A New Haven, CT native, Marjorie Gillette Wolfe’s contribution to the group show, “Coruscation,” means a sudden gleam or flash of light. Her approach to her subject matter is simple and direct, by creating abstract images that reveal something previously hidden. Land and architecture are approached with her peculiar sense of the world. “With my slightly skewed observation of reality, I enter the space. The viewer of my photographs might perceive the image as an unexpected natural occurrence that only my eye has “miraculously” perceived. Eye to camera, coruscation. I release the shutter,” is how Ms. Wolfe describes her work.
Of her photography, New Canaan, CT artist Torrance York says, “On the surface photography realistically captures what we see, but what happens when we add the dimension of extended time? What is the effect of an obstacle between the camera and subject? At that point, photography can capture what we cannot see with our own eyes in a single glance. During the times in between the activities of our family routine, I find visual juxtapositions that capture my attention. The resulting images, often showing reflections, distortions or accumulated light through time, illuminate the experience of these vernacular moments. Often solitary in nature, as in an Edward Hopper painting in which none of the people depicted are visually interacting, my children enter a world of their own. I wonder what that world is like. In these images from a new series “Refractions, “I find my clues.”