I was fortunate this year to exhibit my photographs at the Krause Gallery in Providence. In selecting the images for the show, certain themes and consistencies began to take shape for me. One such element is the use of arches as a compositional and symbolic element.
These images were taken on opposite sides of the world. The first image, the cobblestoned “Ancient Portal” is in Cesky Krumlov, in the Czech Republic. I traveled here in the fall of 2013, with Eileen McCarney Muldoon to research an upcoming Profundo Journeys travel photography workshop. In Cesky Krumlov, I found the authentic old world enchantment of a middle European castle town. The further I physically traveled into this town, the farther back in time I journeyed. When I found this arch, I was immediately drawn to it’s framing of the light and the textures and openings of the building beyond, my eye being drawn down the cobblestones to an unknown world. What lay behind the boarded up windows, the rounded gate, and that very intriguing little window under the eaves…? Stepping back, the intentional inclusion of the arch in the image creates depth and connects the present and past as a stepping into a continuance of time; from the closest layer of the modern day world into the past. I felt the passage of many souls on a journey through this portal throughout the ages, and now it was my turn, not to travel, but to acknowledge.
The complimentary images are from Rhode Island’s own Fort Adams. They were taken in the summer of 2014 during a one day Profundo Journeys photography workshop in which we explored parts of the fort inaccessible without a guide. While instructing a student, my attention was drawn visually to the shapes framed under the arch; a ‘hidden world’ of doorways and windows and a source of light and texture beyond the frame. In this interior space, arches guide the eye to an area of brightness beyond. Because of the low level of light, and the desire for a deep depth of field, my tripod was an indispensable tool, and I had to wait for a student to finish with mine. The entire time, the awareness of the space grew. Just as in Cesky Krumlov, there is a sense of intrigue. Even though the space is bereft of people, a presence lingers. How many feet have trampled that sandy floor, to the source of the light? Again, I was compelled to acknowledge the journey through time and space by making these photographs. Symbolically, it my passage of self discovery I am looking at through the arches of photography.
This repeating element in design is a theme that has been imbedded in my work for quite some time. I have gone back through my archive of photographs taken through the ages, here in the US and away, and found more images of archways. I have created a subset on my webpage that features these compositions called arches and framing. Follow the link to the gallery here: http://www.cindywilsonphoto.com/p415767051
Thanks very much for visiting and reading this blog post. Writing this has been a valuable experience, and I hope you will join me again.