Monday, March 19, 2012

"scar and grace"

I was doing some research on artist communities, blogs, and studio buildings yesterday and fell across a lovely series of photographs by photographer and writer Emily Hiestand.

She couples this series taken of masts wrapped in canvas with a quote from some of her writing:

Certainly by middle age, one knows that ours is a paradoxical universe, that all times, all lands, all selves are an alloy of scar and grace, that blight may turn to beauty and beauty to blight, like mischievous changelings teasing the stolid.
– "Watershed,” Emily Hiestand

I love this relationship as the images show the wear and tear of the sails much like our bodies. skins, and minds show the paths we have gone down. I was drawn to the series initially as it made me think of bodies wrapped in sheets, something that I obviously love as a visual and metaphorical experience. I would not say that I am overly drawn to her other work as it seems more obvious and less transcending as an experience a viewer. For me it lacks the same sophistication that this series has.

One other series, of oyster shells, is an inviting visual experience. She macro's in on the incredible smooth white hues of the inner shell and the rough brown lines of the outer shells to make a landscape. The perfect opposites and tension that exist in this one simple object is celebrated by her lense.

Generally I do not like macro photos, aka super zoomed in, but for Emily this is her best work where she walks the line of making her subject almost unrecognizable and gets lost in the objects beauty and story. The magic is she does not go all the way, she pulls out just enough for us to place it in a specific world making me smell the salt and feel the breeze.

See more of her work here.

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