Audrey Monahan: Downtown Providence
Rhode Island based photographer Audrey Monahan has been an artist and performer all her life. The early decades of her life were spent training as a professional dancer and choreographer. Monahan sees many creative parallels between the choreography and photography worlds from the movement involved to the intricate staging. She views both artforms as a means of drawing in a viewer and keeping their focus. For the last nine years Monahan has been directing her creative attention to photographing historic Downtown Providence. She is fueled by the historic streets and unique architecture. Monahan speaking on her process explains:
“Empty streets, dim alleyways, turn of the century architecture, and the old soul of Providence is what I gravitate toward when setting out on foot with my camera. I usually start before dawn or at dusk. I love the stillness and emptiness I find. The busy hubbub and cacophony of the day, with the chaos of cars and people, is just a temporary overlay of life and activity that is like an ever-changing theatrical play with the city as its stage. What I love to photograph is the stage, not the activity, the silent witness. And in this old city, I photograph what was, what is, and hopefully what will remain.”
Monahan has been collaborating with Blazing Editions for the last year, printing her exquisite images of Providence and beyond on our signature aluminum. Recently a dye sublimation print of Monahan’s was featured on West Elm’s interior design blog Front + Main. The piece titled “Providence Fire Escape” was produced by Blazing Editions on aluminum with a custom-made float frame. The piece was then acquired by local art collector Michael Collins who had it on display in his downtown loft that was featured and photographed by West Elm. Monahan and Blazing Editions’ collaborations will continue as she preps for a Spring 2020 exhibit at the Providence Art Club gallery and hopes to follow up with a book in the near future.
Audrey Monahan is a trained dancer and choreographer who went from working on the stage to working through a lens. When looking through her viewfinder she sees the world as a stage, full of motion and performance. Monahan has a love for the old-world lifestyle, and her outlook is that the world is a very theatrical place. She has photographed everything from landscapes to portraiture and furthers her creative sensibilities through old world travel and study. Monahan’s goal is always to present a theatre experience to her viewers through her lens.
Vanishing In Plain Sight:
Vanishing in Plain Sight is a deeply personal photographic journey by Olivia Parker into Alzheimer’s disease and its effects on the brain and memory. Parker experienced the disease through her late husband, John Parker who passed away in 2016. She began making photographs after John’s diagnosis, as well as compiling writing to accompany them. She found that her images and words opened up a dialogue on a difficult subject. The work is captivating and emotionally charged featuring self-portraiture and piles of personal notes. The self-portraits are characterized by a unique use of motion and blur. Parker spoke of her of choice to include motion in her images saying “When a subject or a camera moves during an exposure the subject disappears partially or entirely. I found that this characteristic of photography was well suited to the images I wanted to create next.” Parker found notes that her beloved husband had left behind, piles of cards he had used to remind him of all the important people and places in his life. The cards recur throughout the work, often bathed in vibrant streaks of light. Light is an extremely important asset to Parker’s work as natural light glares mix with colored light to create dynamic compositions and highlight small details. Parker spoke of the role light played in both her work as well as in relation to Alzheimer’s research sharing “After so many years of working with light I like the idea that the application of light at a specific frequency is repairing neutral connections in mice, enabling them to retrieve lost memories.”
About Olivia Parker:
After graduating from Wellesley College with a degree in the History of Art, Parker began her career as a painter, and became involved in photography in 1970. Mostly self-taught she makes ephemeral constructions to photograph and experiments with the endless possibilities of light. She has had more than one hundred one-person exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and her work is represented in major private, corporate, and museum collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York. Portfolios of her work have been published in Art News, American Photographer, Camera, Camera Arts, The Sciences and numerous other magazines in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 1996 she received a Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award. Residencies include Dartmouth College in 1988, The MacDowell Colony in 1993 and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1997. Currently she is working on Still and not so Still Life that comprises images of both the expected and the unexpected.
Puzzled Creatures Exhibition:
Puzzles have long been a classic hobby of concentration and patience; however, they aren’t quickly thought of when it comes to art. The “Puzzled Creatures” exhibition presented by United Photo Industries & the Annenberg Space for Photography is here to change that notion. Artist, Claire Rosen’s stunning portraits of creatures in nature are paired with historic wallpaper from the Victorian era to create a well-balanced, multi layered composition. Rosen seeks out wallpapers that complement the featured animal but highlights the contrast between the wallpaper versus its natural environment. Working with United Photo Industries to develop a family-friendly interactive activity, her images will be printed on large puzzle pieces that are custom cut and printed. The puzzles are going to be spread out across the Photoville LA lawn for viewing and interaction. Placing the pieces outside and in an outdoor environment enhances the viewer’s experience as they slow down and begin to have an honest exchange with the natural world that Rosen is so fascinated by.
About Claire Rosen:
Claire Rosen is an award-winning artist whose elaborate constructions often feature anthropomorphic animals, archetypal heroines, or symbolic still-lives evoking the aesthetics of classical painting influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and referencing the Victorian Era. The transportive images captivate with a fascination of the natural world and ideals of beauty.
Exhibited worldwide, from New York to Seoul, Rosen's work can be found in a number of collections. Her first solo museum show was at SCAD Savannah Museum of Art in Georgia (2013) and her work has been included in juried and group shows at Annenberg Space for Photography, Aperture Gallery, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Consensus, MOPLA, PhotoPlace Gallery, with five consecutive years on the Photoville Fence in Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Calgary, Houston & Santa Fe.