The featured images this week are Atomic Tea Party, by Jo Whaley from her Natura Morta series and The Organ Factory, by David Trautrimas from his Industrial Parkland series.
|Atomic Tea Party from Jo Whaley's Natura Morta series|
As a child in the 1950s I wandered in an atmosphere electrified with incongruities. A neighbor’s backyard bomb shelter doubled as a playhouse where children created imaginary realities. When the sprinkler system sprayed water over the verdant, but overly fertilized lawn, the shelter below would leak, ruining our play. It lead me to wonder…what was the point...there is no place to hide.
And so it is today. We live with the background of nuclear war, but readily forget it as the foreground of our everyday lives dominate our thoughts, and we are rightfully seduced by the beauty of this world. The times are still charged with incongruities: disturbing, yet wonderful all the same. Savor the tea."
The photographs from the Natura Morta series draw their concepts from the rich tradition of European still life painting. Just as the 17th century painters used the "vanitas " still lifes as metaphors for the transitory nature of human life, these photographs also provide cautionary tales. Historically, a perfect display of the earth's bounty was celebrated through paint. These photographic still lifes echo those compositions, but may feature fruit that is half-eaten and abandoned to mold or roses dusted with soot. Quirky elements and unsettling juxtapositions of the natural with the artificial reflect the ironic tensions that exist between urban culture and the natural environment. Natura Morta means still life in Italian, but significantly the literal translation is dead nature.
See more images from Whaley's Natura Morta series here.
|The Organ Factory from David Trautrimas' Industrial Parkland series|
At first glance Trautrimas' Industrial Parkland images may manifest as characteristic industrial landscapes, but their latent concept is the execution of a meticulous process of reverse engineering. Deliberately chosen consumer items are fastidiously dismantled, photographed and cataloged to create an architectural library from which a factory and its is surroundings are virtually "built." A power drill literally becomes a Power Drill factory, a stapler becomes a Stapler Factory, with each object used to construct its own source of origin. The obsolete aesthetics of the source material (as perceived through a generational nostalgia) precepts a landscape on the declining edge of progress, in which both the manufacturer and the manufactured are eminently disposable.
See more images from Trautrimas' Industrial Parkland series here.
Please contact me if you would like additional information or would like to receive updates about Jo Whaley or David Trautrimas.
Anne Kelly, Associate Director photo-eye Gallery
*Next weeks featured artists will be Tom Chambers and Laurie Tümer.