In: photography

Saskatchewan Book: Photographs by George Webber
December 3, 2021

Saskatchewan Book: Photographs by George Webber
Text by Lorna Crozier, Hardcover, 2020, 320 pages, $45.

Intentionally or not, the photographs George Webber made of rural Saskatchewan over the course of 30 years form a landscape typology. Beautifully portrayed in colour, his eye returns again and again to familiar prairie themes that invite comparison: faded signs, buildings in need of TLC (or more), and details of abandoned items left to decay. Although the particulars may change from scene to scene, there is an unavoidable thread that runs through the book: the wide-open skies of the prairies might go on forever, but traces of human settlement fade. You would not guess from Saskatchewan Book that the province has cities or that its population is growing. Instead, with every frame, Webber evokes memories of a way of life in a countryside eclipsed by urban living. It is an affectionate lament for the past.

Saskatchewan Book: Photographs by George Weber can be purchased here, at rmbooks.com

Image + book review by Alan Bulley / @alanbulley

~ Rita Godlevskis

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Why Black and White Still Matters – An Essay
December 6, 2021

High culture has pretty much disappeared along with the dress code.

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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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Mišo Smišek – Narrative Art
October 7, 2021

Mišo Smišek of Belgrade, Serbia, is a consummate artist. He paints and draws. He is an incredible photographer and has illustrated numerous books. He is a regularly published and acclaimed writer of short stories. He sculpts. He creates pottery and does frottage. The breadth and scope of his work is quite simply impressive. Best of all, every piece he creates has the ability to elicit deep emotion from the viewer or reader of his work. Often dark but rarely disheartening or depressing, his work typically incorporates two or more mediums as above. Mišo has uncanny an ability to create a short story in every piece of his work.

At 64 years old, Miso studied Slovak language and literature at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade and currently works as a librarian in Boľovce. He posts regularly to social media.

Facebook: Mišo Smišek Art
Instagram: @misosmisek

~ Mark Walton

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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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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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Untitled – Jennifer King
August 29, 2021

Jennifer King’s photography has always intrigued me, so much so that I put this photo of hers (above) on the front cover of the first edition of foto:RE|VIEW magazine in 2019. Her work seemed to capture a certain type of childhood perfectly… all its innocence and curiosity, along with its foibles and anxieties.

Jennifer had always taken photographs but found a stronger connection with the medium after the birth of her first child. “The camera became a tool that allowed me to respond to and embrace a new identity that included motherhood. It also became a way for me to discover who my children were.”

King excels at capturing those minute, physical clues that reflect one’s emotional state: a hooded brow, the quiver of a lip, a flash of exasperation, unbridled energy brought on by wonder and adventure.

You can read more about Jennifer’s work with her children in the article BECOMING, found here at foto:RE. You follow her @jencking and contact her HERE.  ~ Mark Walton

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Liz Potter – Everything is going to be okay
September 22, 2021

Liz Potter’s series of panoramic self-portraits should be viewed while listening to an Aaron Copland playlist. Like the great American composer, Potter captures the expansiveness of the American frontier, or what’s left of it. She pits her everyman heroine against its searing heat, its beautiful skies and its unforgiving majesty. Small and alone, she confronts it with courage and humility, and does not fear failure or setbacks.

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Untitled, from Joe Martz’s Underpass series
July 15, 2021

Waterloo Ontario based photographer and graphic designer Joe Martz has a strong eye for the architectural. His ability to capture the beauty in the details and structure of buildings and infrastructure we barely notice as we walk by them is powerful. One cannot help but begin to seek them out on one’s own after seeing his work.

A member of the foto:RE collective, Joe seeks the “strong lines, patterns and symetry” of a subject and often tries to find an “abstract perspective to present a different view”.

Joe’s work can be found on Instgram @joemartz and at joemartz.com – Mark Walton

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