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Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers

  • June 5, 2014 –
  • August 3, 2014

Curated by Anne Leighton Massoni & Libby Rowe

Curatorial Statement:

To “spin a yarn” is not just to tell a story but to construct a tale. Storytelling as an art form brings together the teller and audience to push and pull a narrative into being. The tellers initiate the act, providing a fertile soil to conjure visual and rhetorical play. Storytellers and audiences are dependent on one another, co-conspirators in sketching plot, character, place, conversation and event.

The Spinning Yarns artists, as tellers, impart their tales using photography as a vehicle. The nature of photography as a seemingly factual representation of what exists in a specific time and space informs how we structure and remember events. Since the advent of photography, artists have fabricated photographs, creating imagery through collage, photomontage and theatrical representations and illustrating existing stories: allegories, mythologies, and fables. In today’s contexts, contemporary photographic artists are telling stories differently by using open-ended narratives, visual metaphor and subtle manipulation of subjects and situations. Viewers are already practiced with the idea of inserting their own knowledge and experiences, as well as using creativity and imagination to augment an oral or written tale. The efficiency of an image is ideal in its ability to convey an open narrative, drawing in the audience by presenting more questions than answers. Filling in information, reading between the lines, is what makes an audience able to make the transition to the visual form of storytelling and the use of open narrative. They readily apply the same techniques when presented with a visual narrative.

Exhibition Description:

Spinning Yarns: Photographic Storytellers is a traveling photographic exhibition, curated by Anne Leighton Massoni & Libby Rowe. The exhibition consists of 64 works by 23 artists. Previously on display at Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, TX, Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA and Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR, in addition to other spaces. Spinning Yarns features works focused on photography as a medium for storytelling and discusses the roles photographer, viewer and the image play in constructing narrative. Read more about Spinning Yarns on the website dedicated to the exhibition.

Read individual artist statements and biographies here.

Exhibiting artists include:

Bess Bieluczyk | Andy Bloxham | Muireann Brady | Joy Christiansen Erb |Jason DeMarte | Alex Emmons | Ashley Feagin | Carol Golemboski | Jay Gould| Darren Harvey-Regan | Christopher Jordan | Priya Kambli | Morgan Konn |Nate Larson | Marni Shindelman | Anne Leighton Massoni | Blue Mitchell |Rachel Girard Reisert | Libby Rowe | Christine Shank | Erin V. Sotak | Grace Weston | Ruth Zelanski

Bess Bieluczyk, Waterlogged (from Subtle Hysteria), Archival Inkjet Print, 20x20, 2009

Christopher Jordan, Suburban Sublime #13 (from Suburban Sublime), Archival Pigment Print, Digital Photographic Process, 22x15, 2010

Blue Mitchell, Reconstructing Nature (from Mythics), Acrylic Lift on Birch, 11x14x1.5, 2006

Darren Harvey-Regan, Sticks III (from Sticks), C-Print, 15x15, 2005

Erin V. Sotak, The Death of Sailing Performance, Installation, Photograph, Fuji Metallic Print, 8x12, 2008

Christine Shank, You promised to listen (from interiors). Color Photograph, 16x20, 2006

Carol Golemboski, Home Away From Home (from Psychometry), Toned Silver Gelatin Print, 17.5x17.5, 2005

Grace Weston, Free to Go, Fuji Crystal Archive C-Print, 19x15, 1997

Andy Bloxham, Beta 14 (from Beta), Pigment Print, 16x24, 2008

Alex Emmons, A Dog's Dream (from Fieldtrips Home), Digital Print, 16x20, 2005