by Karen Braun Malpas
This annual show has ripened across the years and has drawn more and more interesting photographer participants. A very impressive show is expertly hung and awaits the appreciative viewing of Alamedans from March 31 to May 27. Fri-Sun 11-5. There will be a grand opening Friday April 14, 6-8.
Photos are of course visual but sometimes a sight, an image, can trigger OTHER SENSES for an even fuller sensory experience. This was the case for me with “Primavera Alameda” taken on a poetic pastel pinkish spring day until the wind and rain turned it into a day which, with shoulders hunched, drove one home to peel off wet socks, wipe off eye glasses and decide to return when the weather clears.
Carlos Rosillo photographed “The Bridge”, empty at night when other souls were gone. In the dark, the artist’s senses were on high alert which is mirrored by showing intricate details in all spatial planes from foreground to background. I could smell the low tide and sense the silent movements of nocturnal sea life.
I had a feeling of guilty curiosity with Jeff Cullen’s “Purple Apartment” and Yaniv Sherman’s “Stories 1299.” In both, the artist is outside, pointing his camera at someones home. Yes, we wonder what was happening inside Cullen’s upper left apt. that inspired the resident to use purple lighting rather than plain light bulbs. As voyeurs, we are ashamed to hang around, waiting to see if figures cross the window which might explain the mystery.
Sherman's photo is a mono chromatic shot of a window into an interior where we see a tabletop strewn with small domestic objects. It too poses a mystery of who lives there. We lean in to see what kind of gum wrapper or book that is, were they using a pencil or ballpoint, will they be back soon? It makes us a little uncomfortable that we know more about them than they know about us.
COLOR ruled in several photos. Taggart Gorman’s “Towards Sunset” shows the bluest of stained glass blue skies during the magic hour casting a solitary bench in golden light.
All is still, nearly reverent as the day is taken over by night.
Charles Lucke’s “Door 15” was likely originally painted in conventional industrial hues but after years of facing the sun, the colors have bleached into more interesting shades of dusty peach, pale pear, wan watermelon.
The yellow door of Reid Haataja’s “I’m Home” is personalized by dirty fingerprints around the knob and lock. A “Crane at Dawn” was seen by Gerard Hughes when the world was so still, so hushed, so majestically deep blue, so unsullied by citizenry waking up and filling it with activity.
REPETITION was used to excellent advantage in such photos as “Reflections at Sunset” by Barbara James. We see a forest of vertical masts uniformly piercing the sky. Their
counterparts, upside down, are reflected in the water…a visual call and response. Nick Winkworth shows an intriguing composition of things we aren’t sure what they are but, there’s always a set, a bunch or a row of them, organized.
There is so much to see as we see Alameda through the eyes of others! which include a bevy of talented youth sharpening their vision on the island.