Image: Swimming Out by Cyd Peroni - Pigment Ink on Vellum over 24 kt. Gold Leaf
Two award-winning fine art photographers, Patrick O'Brien and Cyd Peroni, and two award-winning poets, Lois Roma-Deeley and Rosemarie Dombrowski, collaborated over a period of 18 months to create Geology of Spirit.
As the name suggests, this exhibition looks at the human spirit and how the interior regions of self and society are reflected in the processes and features of the desert Southwest. The artists have rejected the typical landscape motif to use the visual and poetic metaphors of birth/death, wet/dry, shadow/light, and negative/positive space, to speak to two central themes:
· There is rebirth on the other side of decay.
· Something powerful abides within the transience of time.
While these themes grew organically from the collaboration, Rosemarie, Lois, Patrick, and Cyd have purposely left room for viewers to respond as part of a larger collaboration and wholeheartedly invite gallery-goers to bring their own stories to the exhibition.
Image: Windows by Patrick O’Brien - Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag Paper
Going outside a traditional pairing of photographer with poet to create the work, Cyd, Patrick, Lois, and Rosemarie decided to try collaboration as one. Initially, poets were asked to respond to a large group of photographs to produce 10 poems. Lois and Rosemarie wrote 14 poems, which gave Cyd and Patrick the opportunity to create photos in response to their poetry.
Image: The Mysteries of Rocks by Cyd Peroni - Pigment Ink on Vellum over 24 kt. Gold Leaf
See and Hear
Geology of Spirit is constructed as 14 modules. Each module combines one poem with a series of photographs. While poets will be performing selected live readings during the opening reception, gallery visitors will be able to hear each poem throughout the length of the exhibition by using their smartphones to scan a provided QR code. Immediately after the opening reception, the Geology of Spirit website will host pages containing all images and poems as well as a series of interviews with all four participants.
Image: Fire! by Patrick O’Brien - Archival Pigment Print on Cotton Rag Paper
Patrick O’Brien has created his work as archival pigment prints (pigmented ink on archival 100% cotton paper) of digital images. All images were taken to illustrate the ideas and the feelings - the Spirit of the Sonoran Desert in the American Southwest.
Cyd Peroni has created her work as aurumprints (pigmented ink on translucent vellum paper over 24 kt. fine gold leaf and 12 kt. white gold leaf). She especially chose this process and its materials for their value as metaphors – rare, stable gold and fragile impermanent vellum.
“As I began to spend time with the images, I felt an internal shift—perhaps in my creative process, or perhaps in the way I regarded the relationship between ecological preservation and the human spirit. The photographs began to resemble x-rays and brain maps, and the narrative took on an even greater sense of urgency. I suddenly understood that the degeneration of the body and brain are akin to the decay that’s taking place around us, and we can either see this as a beautiful symbiosis or hide behind modernity and all of its trappings. The truth I discovered in the interaction between the images and the words is simple: we are all alive, and we are all dying.”
“I approached these photographs as if I were eavesdropping on the conversation of a traveler who was wandering through dreams and memory as well as natural landscapes. What came to me as I was immersed in the images was the duality of time and timelessness. How these co-exist in nature and within humans. How time and timelessness comes to and through and with our human experience of the natural world.”
Image: There Once Was by Patrick O’Brien - Archival Pigment on Cotton Rag Paper