Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Most Beautiful Iris - Katarina Fagerstrom Levring

I heard someone say recently that this is the first year in 40 years that Maine has had spring. Interesting. I sat up and took notice of that statement. I moved to Maine in 1992 from Indiana, and was told at the time that Maine does not have a spring season. It has a mud season. Having come from a state where the redbud trees and magnolia trees and dogwood trees burst into bloom at the same time as so many beautiful spring bulbs, I was dismayed to discover that this statement about Maine was somewhat true...Maine has a spring, but it is very, very subtle. There is no big burst of color...no redbud trees, no dogwood trees, a few magnolia trees here and there. Spring in Maine is about guessing when the lake will finally be free of ice, standing outside in the evening to listen to peeper frogs calling from a nearby pond, gathering fiddlehead ferns for dinner, and boiling maple sap for syrup. Warm temperatures? Burst of color? Not really.

This year, however, those of us who live in Maine have been remarkably fortunate to have experienced a beautiful March and April. What little snow we had melted very early this year. The crocus and daffodils bloomed early. Forsythia bloomed, grass turned green, and the leaves came out. The lilacs and apple trees are in bloom now...about three weeks early. Most importantly, we somehow skipped mud season, and with mild temperatures, we were able to get out and enjoy the limited amount of color that we get here in Maine. So, it did seem more like spring this year.

All of this came to mind as I was browsing through the Still Point II exhibition this morning and came upon the Iris photographs by Katarina Fagerstrom Levring. Levring is a fine art photographer from Sweden. Perhaps Levring has the same experience of spring in Sweden that I do in Maine. In any case, Levring's photographs of purple Iris are worth a good look. With her camera she catches pieces of the flower at different angles, accentuating its luscious curves, deep colors, and velvety texture. The dark background and the abstract approach to the photographs give them a feeling of obscurity or mystery that lends great appeal to the compositions. Thinking about it for a moment, I was drawn to these photographs this morning because they burst with color...the purple, the gold. Once drawn in by the color, it's easy to want to just sit and enjoy the beauty.

Iris Still Leaving IIII (16 x 23), digital photograph, not framed, $575
Iris Still Leaving I (23 x 16), digital photograph, not framed $575
Iris Still Leaving III (16 x 23), digital photograph, not framed, $575

Return to Still Point Art Gallery

Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
May 11, 2010

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