In: female photographer

Gun Play | Jill Freedman
August 8, 2022

Jill Freedman is a name you should know in the world of photography… but more than likely don’t. With a career that spanned 40 years, 7 (and counting) books and pieces acquired by major galleries, Freedman’s work connects deeply with her subjects in a manner unlike most documentary photographers.

From the very beginning, Jill was IN. She didn’t go to take photos of Resurrection City in Washington in 1968; she LIVED in the camp with the protesters for the duration of that campaign. She travelled with the circus for several months in the early 70’s to get her incredible photos of life under and around the big top. She embedded herself in the firehouses and police precincts of NYC and came out with work so beautiful and intimate that her two books on the subjects (Firehouse and Street Cops) were snapped up by first responders when they were re-released in the early 2000’s.

When Pulitzer Prize winner Studs Terkel wrote his oral history Working in 1974, Jill Freedman was who he interviewed when talking about photographers. From the first time I saw her work, I knew that there was an extreme tension in how she approached it. “Sometimes it’s hard to get started, ’cause I’m always aware of invading privacy. If there’s someone who doesn’t want me to take their picture, I don’t. When should you shoot and when shouldn’t you? I’ve gotten pictures of cops beating people. Now they didn’t want their pictures taken. (Laughs.) That’s a different thing.”[i] Freedman walked a very thin line between rooting for the underdog yet respecting authority.

You can find out more about Jill Freedman at http://www.jillfreedman.com/. Resurrection City, 1968 was recently re-published and can be found for purchase at your favorite bookstore or online. Firehouse and Street Cops are no longer in print, but used copies can be found online.

[i] Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel   Text © 1972, 1974 by Studs Terkel –  The New Press, New York, 2004, Pg. 153-154

~ Mark Walton

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Lana | Transformations by Ruth Dick
June 1, 2022

Lana | Transformations Photos by Ruth Dick Lana Series, Before, Image 3 - Photo by Ruth Dick LANA | TRANSFORMATIONS   Photos... Read More
Amber Lee WIlliams – Femme Folks Fest Repost
March 16, 2022

The work of Amber Lee Williams, an artist from the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, almost always concerns itself with motherhood and children, exploring the concepts of life within, the constancy of change, attachment and removal, and notions of femininity.

Femina Bulla Est (Woman is a Bubble), is a sequence of macro photographs of pink bubblegum. Amber deftly takes the binary state of man’s being, as depicted by the soap bubble in Dutch Renaissance Vanitas paintings (homo bulla est) and turns it on its ear… where man is either strong or broken, women have a strength and flexibility that allows them to persevere.

“I thought I would begin by simply blowing soap bubbles, photographing them, and seeing what happened. I asked (my daughter) if she wanted to help me blow bubbles and she thought I meant bubblegum bubbles. As soon as she mentioned the bubblegum it was a total lightbulb moment, and I have to give her credit for the idea.”

Femina Bulla Est #9 is incredibly organic, suggesting a beating heart, or the crepe-like tissue of placenta. Partially inflated, one gathers that there is life within, flush with blood and good health. One could also perceive the darker top section as a scab, protecting the soft tissue below as it heals from a trauma.

“The original bubble in Vanitas paintings suddenly pops and life ends, but in my version the bubble inflates and deflates again and again. The bubble is both fragile and resilient. Beyond the more obvious, and my personal connections to motherhood (carrying a child within my body, that body stretching…), I also think of the inflated and deflated, not just as physical states but also states of mind and related to mental health.”

You can seem more of Amber’s work at https://amberleeart.com, and on Instagram @amberlee.art. ~ Mark Walton

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Karolina Kuras – Romance, Flight and Fluidity – Femme Folks Fest
March 14, 2022

Karolina Kuras Romance, Flight & Fluidity by Mark Walton ~ Karolina Kuras The COVERT Collective is pleased to be participating in Femme... Read More
Kary Janousek – Connecting to History
March 11, 2022

Kary Janousek Connecting to History Wind - Kary Janousek Kary Janousek is a prairie transplant. She found herself living in Fargo,... Read More
Diana Nicholette Jeon
November 11, 2021

Diana Nicholette Jeon is a Hawai’i based photographer whose works have been widely published and exhibited, including (coincidentally) by The COVERT Collective’s Peppa Martin. Diana’s photos have won awards at the Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, the Moscow Foto Awards and the Pollux Awards to name a few.

“Untitled (from the series, 860 Days)” is a photo that immediately conveys a sense of solitude. The extreme blurring of part of the image takes it a step further to impart an unwanted sense of loneliness, and of not knowing how to escape it… like a bad dream. In fact, the series itself (here) is “about my experience of loss, isolation, anguish and loneliness during a marital separation.”

Jeon’s other projects are equally as personal and introspective, and often combine selfies with other photographic elements to create unique pastiches that engage the viewer to try to connect with the psyche of Jeon herself… what is she feeling here? … why did she choose this? While all art seeks to create this bond with its audience, Jeon’s work is extraordinarily successful at it.

You can see more of Diana’s work at her website, including the series Self-Exposure, Socially Speaking, Nights as Inexorable as the Sea and I, Orfeo.

https://diananicholettejeon.com/

~ Mark Walton

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ISABELLE HAYEUR: Monograph
November 2, 2021

ISABELLE HAYEUR: Monograph
By Mona Hakim, Peggy Gale, & Ann Thomas
Hardcover, 2020, 360 pages, available from Les éditions Plein sud
Texts in French and English $70 + Shipping

Committed to environmental causes since the 1990s, Isabelle Hayeur takes an acute critical look at the changes in our ecosystems caused by the devastating impacts of massive urbanization and industrialization on our territories.

This monograph, the most exhaustive publication to date on this artist’s work, leads us to the heart of her creative activity. Bringing together numerous visual documents, from her composite photo-graphs to portraits of citizen gatherings and activist groups by way of videos, installations in public spaces, and reflective texts, this richly illustrated book explores the vast production of an artist who has gained recognition in the contemporary art world, in Quebec and internationally. The texts present the reader with enlightened insights into the artist’s various accomplishments.

Read more about this monograph and order it here.

This recommendation appeared in the Fall 2021 – ECO ISSUE of PhotoED Magazine. If you’re looking for more Canadian photography inspiration check out PhotoED Magazine, in print + online https://www.photoed.ca

~ Rita Godlevskis

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Forest for the Trees – Rita Leistner
September 16, 2021

Rita Leistner
Forest for the Trees
Dewi Lewis Publishing

Rita Leistner’s latest, Forest for the Trees, is a feature documentary film and a book (published by Dewi Lewis UK), based on Rita’s fine art series The Tree Planters and Enchanted Forests, represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery.

Rita is an award-winning multi-media artist and documentary filmmaker with a history of using photography and film to create portraits of communities in extreme conditions —such as soldiers in Iraq, female patients at psychiatric hospitals in wartime, and women wrestlers in the United States — exploring themes of purpose, struggle, and belonging.

Forest for the Trees is the story of the vast landscape of clear-cut logging and reforestation as experienced from a community of a hundred tree planters, tree planting by hand in remote locations in Canada.

Planting trees one at a time is the overarching metaphor of how we can achieve things we think are impossible: reforesting the earth one tree at a time, getting through life’s challenges one day at a time, and making a film one picture at a time.

www.forestforthetreesdocumentary.com

This recommendation appeared in the Fall 2021 – ECO ISSUE of PhotoED Magazine. If you’re looking for more Canadian photography inspiration check out PhotoED Magazine, in print + online https://www.photoed.ca

~ Rita Godlevskis

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Interview with Julia Huỳnh
November 3, 2021

Touching on topics such as the family archive, destruction of the self-portrait, consent and authorship in photography, and more, Guest Curator Julie Dring interviews Toronto-based archivist and photographer Julia Huỳnh. Click for more!

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Fire Caught and Portrait of an Artist (Franklin Ugochukwu) – Kary Janousek
September 7, 2021

There is an ethereal look to wet plate collodion photography that is difficult to describe. It’s no wonder that people thought that early photography was a method to steal the soul of the sitter; as you can recognize the individual, but they look detached, disconnected. The camera seems to catch something more than just the image of the person… it catches their essence.

The reason for this is that these images are primarily formed by collecting the UV light radiating from the subject, a light that is invisible to the naked eye. Kary Janousek (one of 4 of the “Dakota Revivalist Photographers” using wet plate collodion in North Dakota) uses this effect to beautiful ends. Fire Caught and Portrait of an Artist (Franklin Ugochukwu) are perfect examples of the process. Many of Kary’s images have spiritual undertones that are served well by the detachment. The images are of flesh and blood seem to transcend the glass plates they are formed on.

Based in Fargo, North Dakota, Kary is likely one of the only wet plate photographers ANYWHERE with a store front enterprise… walk in to her incredible studio in the historic center of town and you can have a plate made on the spot! Recently she has started experimenting with different types of glass, creating completely unique works of art.

You can find Kary Janousek at https://highhatportraiture.com and on IG @highhatportraiture

Shane Balkowitsch is another of the Dakota Revivalist Photographers and has been previously featured on curated.

~ Mark Walton

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