XIX

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1 October 2006 - 21 January 2007

Dedicated to the memory of our "Little Friend," Père Roger Guerault (1916 - 2006)

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Abstracts from Nature

"Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature"                      Cicero (106 - 43 BC

 

    Having come to photography as a satisfying manner of expression after a lifetime of study of natural forms, particularly plants, I relate very much to this quotation by Marcus Tullius Cicero, so much so that I have had it incorporated into book plates for my library.

    I also happen to agree with Andre Gide (1869 - 1951) who said that "art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better." This explains why, as much as I admire and enjoy the photography of Aubrey Bodine, Robert Demachy, Gertrude Kasebier, William Mortensen, and Alfred Stieglitz among many other great pictorial photographers, I tend to present my own images in a more realistic mode.

 

Calathea #1.  1997  © Charles Albert Huckins

    

 However, I have found that certain subjects, both in nature and from manufactured sources, lend themselves to more, other-worldly, viewpoints, either because of their intrinsic patterns or the patterns they create with their surroundings. In this exhibit, I have chosen to concentrate on those, generally more natural objects of abstraction.

    Bringing abstractions to light often requires that we apply a different direction, focus, perspective or scale to our observation of the subject of interest. Then, it seems, the subject is not only what we first thought it was, but may become something else. This is probably why I enjoy visual abstract art as much as I do. 

    Entering the world of abstraction frees the mind and unleashes the imagination, much as words in a book or notes of music have the power to do. Yet, when our eyes fall upon the objects of everyday life, they somehow require more assistance in letting us escape to imaginary worlds than do our ears. In this regard, I believe the camera (and the photographs it yields) is a most effective aid in directing us to other worlds; this might be its greatest attribute other than documenting the world in which we ordinarily find ourselves.

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