HCP is pleased to introduce the winner’s of the 2014 Juried Fellowship Exhibitions which will be on view May 9-July 6, 2014. Robin Myers was awarded the HCP Fellowship and Keliy Anderson-Staley received the Carol Crow Memorial Fellowship. This year’s juror, Elisabeth Biondi, is a curator and writer who is based in New York.
Robin finds her inspiration wherever her eyes and her mind take her. It can be a spark of light, a scientific discovery, or a touch of the hand. She absorbs and gradually, over a period of time, transforms her perceptions into photographs. She takes particular interest in science and outer space. They represent worlds of knowledge filled with wonders, beautiful and exciting.
Her aptitude for science and knowledge of photographic technology allows her to be free in her interpretations. The path from perception to finished image often goes through a multitude of cycles–each moving the image further away from its initial reality. As a result her images bridge the gap between abstract and figurative. She wants us to viscerally experience what she has distilled in her pictures by engaging our emotions. Beyond words, she succeeds in pure visual communication.
For her, the camera is the perfect tool to render visually her perception of reality. She says “photography has the ability to mimic a reality that shifts seamlessly between concrete and abstract.” As much as transformation guides her images, equally important is her aesthetic judgment. She transforms her understanding of the world into aesthetic statements. With it she creates alluring images that take us beyond reality.
-Elisabeth Biondi, Juror
Keliy Anderson-Staley’s photographs are beautiful. They are portraits of a wide range of Houstonians of diverse, ages, gender, and backgrounds. Much like August Sander in Germany, she succeeds in creating photographs of a representative cross-section of people living in urban America. She uses traditional view cameras, lenses, and makes her prints by using chemicals mixed in a 19th century manner. Her dignified portraits take us back in time to ponder a collective history and at the same she arouses curiosity in the contemporary individuals she portrays.
Her portraits compare favorably with work of other artists who make images in this traditional manner. However, hers are unique and are set apart by being classical and contemporary at the same time. Magically her sitter’s eyes illuminate their faces and make them come alive. She achieves this quality of vividness by using the Collodion process and by making the portrait a collaborative effort. She encourages her sitters to stare back at her and to hold their gaze for up to thirty seconds. The interaction gives sitters control of how they want to be seen and the persona they wish to convey.
Contemporary dress and hairstyle, combined with the 19th century photographic process, adds up to suspending images in a neutral space. However, the photographer also points out in her Artist Statement that Tintype photographs have been used as tools for “scientific” ethnographic studies of the past. She seeks to set the record straight. Her portraits celebrate the individual—it makes her photographs very powerful.
-Elisabeth Biondi, Juror