Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Photographers Talk About Their Work in Still Point I

Several photographers were selected to exhibit their work in Still Point I, the inaugural exhibition of Still Point Art Gallery. In this post we hear from Sue Alden and John Luesing. We learn how their careers as an environmental scientist and an interior designer influence their approach to art and photography. Be sure to see their work in the Gallery.

Sue Alden, from Delta, Pennsylvania...
I have always had an interest in the details of organic matter. The delicate beauty, filled with color contrast, lines, and shapes. Each photograph of organic details carries its own narrative and unique beauty that stands on its own. Whether it is a vein on a leaf, or the patterns found in ice crystals, the texture and patterns are unique.

Sue Alden, Abstract Macro 5

Macro photogr
aphy is an adventure for me; I never know what I will discover on just common grass or a flower stem. It's like seeing something for the first time and being stunned by the beauty. My career field in Environmental Science gives me insight into the natural world surrounding us. The macro world is full of beauty and I want to immerse myself into this art form and appreciate it for what it has to offer.

Everyone sees the world and our surroundings differently. My photography captures images that enable the viewer to see as I see, to witness the wonder
of the natural world, if only for a moment. I strive to create artwork that enables the viewer to observe and interact with what is provided in the natural environment; to see and appreciate what naturally surrounds us and what is most often missed in passing.

John Luesing, from Chicago, Illinois...
My photography stems from my theories and practices as an interior designer.

Born in rural Michigan, I grew up surrounded by nat
ure, and at the time it was easy to take my environment for granted. Yet living around woods and fields instilled in me an appreciation for the forms and randomness of nature. As I grew older, a fascination for man’s ability to construct massive structures and buildings led me to begin studying interior architecture and design. The non-randomness of the process of building intrigued me.

John Luesing, Wacker Drive #2

When I moved to Chicago to complete my BFA in Interior Architecture and Design, I began studying the techniques and philosophies of the most famous twentieth-century architects: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe to name a few. Their mathematical, proportional, and rational designs were a great inspiration to me, and I began applying these techniques to my own design.

I look at buildings and interiors as groupings of planes in multiple axes which are inherently related to one another; they have to be reconciled individually while simultaneously interacting with each other to produce a harmonious grouping. Within each individual plane there must be strong composition, but also an emotional component. Composition is what attracts you to the space. Emotion draws a response to the space, whether it is comforting, thought provoking, or something else. Usually I rely on my client to add the emotional content to the space through his or her likes and dislikes, as well as through personal objects interjected into the space. In my photography, I take responsibility for both of these aspects: composition and emotion.

When I see things that make me smile or make me think, I photograph them. I apply my theories of composition, proportion, color, and positive and negative space to create a composition that, when on paper, subconsciously draws the viewer to the subject matter. I would like to think my work inspires people to take a moment and appreciate the things around them they may have missed. It is important, I believe, to stop and regard the world around us.

In my photography, I don’t rely on specific subject matter. Living in Chicago, I am fortunate to be exposed to both the randomness of nature and the structure of man’s creations. I have no expectations of what I may come across when I wander with my camera. What I do look for is the unexpected, the juxtapositions of life, and things people see every day but may not stop to look at or admire.
Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
April 17, 2009

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