Chain 06

Sunflower and Clouds
Medium: Photograph

It was early winter when I noticed the cloud formation in this photo. I got in my car with two dogs and drove out looking for forms in the landscape, hoping to find a way of tying the two (the clouds and the land) into a visual whole. I was overwhelmed by the spectacle of the powerful unbroken lines of clouds that fully extended themselves between the two horizons. If the photograph had been taken with a lens whose field of view was wide enough, the viewer could have seen the total domination of the sky by that unbroken band. The sunflower’s gesture speaks in a sad and wistful tone. They are an emotional contrast to the unabashed voice of the clouds, which speak of power, promise, hope and triumph. I remember the scale of those mammoth sunflowers, earthbound but majestic. The clouds and sunflowers provide a fitting visual and emotional counterpoint to one another.

I felt privileged to be witnessing something so remarkable and so strange. It was a once in a lifetime display of nature and I was overwhelmed by the spectacle. During a period of half-hour or so, these bands of clouds only strengthened. They drifted from lower in the south and eventually took their place, dominating the highest point of the late afternoon sky. An astounding sight, unbroken lines of clouds fully extending between the two horizons. My emotions went back and forth between the power of the event and the fear that I would not be able to make this moment into an image that spoke to what I was experiencing.

First, let me say that what started off as the inspiration for this image, those amazing clouds, may have taken more of a background role in how this photograph reads. If the image had been made with a lens wide enough in field of view, the viewer could have seen the total domination of the sky by that cloud band without end. The voice of the sunflowers speaks clearly, but in a sad and wistful tone. In emotional contrast, the unabashed voice of the clouds speak to me of power, hope and triumph, not the approaching end to the cycle of growing, of promise. I remember the scale of those mammoth plants, earthbound but majestic. Whether foreground or background, their strong presence provides a fitting emotional and visual counterpoint.

Like so much in photography that depends on decisions made in the moment, one works fast and hopes that they have made a photograph with some power to last. If there were other emotions felt before I saw that incredible sky, they are gone from my memory.

Michael Zide

It was sunrise in Southern California, January 11, 1949. Something drew me to the bedroom window. I looked out to the front yard and for miles beyond. The familiar scene of my childhood was gone. Our front lawn with its towering evergreen tree, the vacant lot down the hill and the boulevard leading to Griffith Part were luminous. My world, where the landscape had been a constant was trasformed -covered now in a pure white blanket of what appeared to my five year old eyes to be diamond dust. It was a scene beyond my comprehension and my response was visceral. That moment is as immediate to me now as it was decades ago. My wife summed up the journey that followed perfectly. “That first snowfall set in motion both the search for a view of equal enchantment, as well as a visual memory in search of meaning.”

Establishing a point of view or personal vision is at the core of my work n landscape photography. Oscar Wilde said of another medium, “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Each walk on the beach or into the forest is an opportunity to get in touch with the landscape in front of the lens and the landscape within. For an image to speak clearly, the photographer must have something to say. Beyond that, there is always an element of change, being present at the right moment as the light reveals form that strokes a chord of recognition. From that point on, intuition and experience take over.

Why black and white? Black and white photography lays open the bones of the image. It’s direct and to the point.

Time and place are always present in the image. I photograph where I live because it’s what I know and it’s accessible. Everything changes with time, including the way I see. I revisit many locations over the seasons and over the years, hopeful that I can get out of my own way, and truly “listen with my eyes.”

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Somewhere Far You Are
By Gregory Page
Somewhere Far You Are
Medium: Song

I loved the idea that Sunflowers, usually so bright & yellow were dark and in deep contrast in this photograph. I looked at the photograph until I memorized it, and then held the image as an intention inside my mind. My song is about missing someone I spent each day and night with for many many years. Suddenly that person vanished out of the blue leaving without much explanation or warning. I used the symbolism of the photograph to create a song that would makeits listener remember a smiling face they once knew.

Gregory Page

Growing up in North London during the swingin’ 60’s, Gregory page was surrounded by Traditional Irish Music and musicians. As a teenage boy, he was always fascinated listening to the 78 RPM records on his Grandparents’ hand cranked HMV Gramophone. Upon his arrival to California, he began tirelessly writing and recording his own brand of music. With the assistance of Mr. Lou Curtiss, Gregory’s voice & songwriting was shaped into Black & White. Gregory has the gift to capture life in a realistic, sensitive and humorous way in his lyrics. He is truly in his element when performing his charismatic live shows.

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Can’t Clown Around Without You
Medium: Paint

The lyrics “Smiling is hard to do, can’t clown around without you…” Kept haunting me. The tempo of the music is so happy and uplifting but the lyrics are deeply sad and filled with loss. The location I chose to paint was a swing set on an island just off the coast of Toronto. I sometimes go there to escape from city life. There’s this swing set in the middle of the island covered with rust. It’s this happy object in an unhappy state, which is ironic because it’s a happy beautiful place with a fun playground but its abandoned and sad. The swing set seemed the perfect metaphor for this song. I painted it contrasted against the beautiful landscape on a sunny day to pronounce how just how sad it is: a ghost swing set… Me on it with an empty, stationary lifeless swing beside me.

Kelly Grace

Kelly Grace was born in Toronto in the 70′s and raised in the rural area of Stouffville, Ontario. As the granddaughter of puppeteers and a clown, Kelly channels her familial creativity into her art. Her work is a culmination of efforts to bring her childhood nostalgia to life. At Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, she eveloped styles of acrylic painting, using both traditional and mixed media collage type processes. Kelly currently works and lives in Toronto with her husband and fellow artist, Shaun Downey.

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Medium: Film

At times in life we follow other people; often the one we love. But when they depart from our lives we need to find a new way to move on… by ourselves. n our visual story the audience follows a man walking through the snow; the camera closely behind him. As viewers we think the story is about the man. But when he turns a corner, the camera proves to be the main character. We discover it is not about who we follow in life, but about choosing our own paths.”

Michael & Caja: Michael Driebeek van der Ven & Caja van der Poel

We believe that there are many ways to help build a better world. One of these ways is to offer beauty, joy and optimism. Our drive is to show the world the beauty of mankind, with all its imperfections. These imperfections are what make us human; they define and unite us. We’re not so very different from each other. No matter where we grew up, we’re all just men and women trying to build a life and communicate about it. It’s as simple as that! Our lives as individuals and as a team have given us years of experience abroad. In these years we’ve found what has become our source of inspiration: that it is not our differences, but the similarities between all men and all women of the world that speak the loudest.

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Medium: Perfume

My first reaction to this Painting was Tranquility and peace. It was to me about an escape from the everyday world to aquiet place where one can think and be at peace with oneself. The first word I thought of was “Chastity” which is a feminine name that also means pure. I was drawn to the powerful colors of the landscape and the grassy green aspect of the painting. I reflected these colors in the classic Fougere accord but I also wanted to make it greener, deeper, and full of character.

Eliam Puente

Eliam Puente is an aspiring perfumer living in Seattle, WA. With a long history working in graphic design and art, Eliam has always been involved in some form of creative expression. After moving to the state of Washington six years ago, he grew an interest in the art of perfumery and its history. This quickly became his new passion and after many years of self education, he is now hard at work creating a perfume line soon to be launched.

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Dance Floor
Medium: Sculpture

n the silence of this film I imagined I could hear the crunch of snow underfoot. To me the film was about random acts wehave no control over but that have a profound impact on our lives. The film made me reflect on choices and their consequences, on others, and us as we walk through life. I felt hope and acceptance around those consequences. I titled my sculpture “Dancefloor” which was inspired somewhat by the Australian Aboriginal tribes (like the Pintobe and the Walperry) who make three dimensional dance floors on flattened earth, then place clay balls and shapes, colored with pigment, in a significant pattern to describe an event. Then before the sunset, they dance the shapes into oblivion.

Plaisir DʼAmour
Medium: Poem

My best friend, Ned had just died. When I smelled this exotic incense like fragrance it became my absent friend to me. He had been an Augustinian monk and was extremely exotic, the first person to speak to me the word Mojito, describing in detail its minty exotic flavor. I had no instinct to put the perfume on. I was involved in it as though in worship. The fragrance and I were separate and I wanted to worship it and celebrate our separateness. The smell of the fragrance filled every part of me so completely and then 20 seconds later… it was gone. The transitory nature of the scent became a metaphor for our love and friendship. “Plasure D’ More” means “The pleasure of love.” It’s from a French song that goes: “The pleasure of love lasts but a moment, the pain, a life time long.” The pain of having known Ned would be with me forever but that was price of having had the pleasure of loving him. In the fragrance I felt the celebration and the deep grief in our parting.

Medium: Sculpture

From the poem I felt the kind of warmth that emanates from deep reds and browns, with tingling splashes of chartreuse and white. There was a general feeling of progression, of leading to a singular moment/experience, while also reaching back in time. The poem suggests the recollection a delicious memory evoked by a taste or a smell and reliving that memory though it is far away. I titled my sculpture “Tingle.” It elicited feelings of excitement, tempered by time and memory. The sculpture, full of strings with pearly ends, is like nerve endings. The form suggests body and touch with the two converging and diverging sets of strings.

Hannah Verlin

Verlin received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2005. Hannah’s artwork all shares an aesthetic of belied simplicity. Shapes are limited to basic geometries of squares, circles, and triangles. The color palette is restrained to black and white with only the occasional burst of color in contrast. The materials are familiar, however, the residue of an intense process gives the art a scintillating and restless quality. In addition to gallery based art, she has created many site-specific and temporary public works throughout New England. In 2011 the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded her a Fellowship in Sculpture/Installation and she received a Fellowship in Visual Art from Somerville Arts Council.

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Medium: Spacial Design

The chain of art was metaphorically ‘A cemetery for keeping emotions.’ I was sad, and shocked about feeling sad. It made me think of my daughter, who died a long time ago. The collective pieces told a clear story of how sadness is part of our every day emotional spectrum and even how feelings of sadness and loss are critical to our everyday existence. I began to assemble ideas for a space. One of the most important desires I had was to put the artwork just a little out of site, at least for a moment, so that it could be “discovered” in the space.

Brynna Bloomfield

Brynna Bloomfield is a collaborative designer, artist and educator. Based in Boston, she designs sets and masks for area theaters and schools. Brynna teaches theater design at Emerson College and works with local elementary schools. She is a founding member of Israeli Stage, now in its third season of production. Brynna received her BFA in painting and printmaking at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she worked in illustration and animation before earning an MFA in theater design from Brandeis University.

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