Monday, April 5, 2010

The Elements

SCOOP studios on Broad unveiled a new show Friday night during the French Quarter Art Walk.

“Elements” is a photography show that serves as a testament to nature's power. According to co-owner Colleen Deihl, “When something is left behind or abandoned, nature takes over, whether it be rain, snow, wind or sun, or the plants that continue to grow around. And even in the objects. This may not be the most beautiful picture to some, but to us it is gorgeous and fascinating.”

The idea came from a chat between Deihl and one of the featured photographers, Stewart Young. Young says his photography celebrates “the beauty of decay and decline.” His images made it seem like he had an affinity for rust. It was captured on tricycles, old gas pumps, cars. So--hence came the name of the show--his photography showcased the stress of the elements on the man-made.

Cyle Suesz took an interesting approach to the theme. He showed local models in their most natural state: naked. Deihl thinks that the true natural beauty of his work was in his picture “Dandelion.” “Cyle's driftwood trees in 'Dandelion' are constantly changed by the ocean, the salt, the wind and the sand.”

At the opening, I most liked the work of Sandy Logan. With bold colors and duct tape, Logan showed how that which is man-made goes to waste.

When I pointed to the above picture and said I liked it, Logan said it was “an old, ditched semi-truck.” I liked the word “ditched” because I instantly imagined the truck a true mess, left sideways in a ditch. Not just abandoned, though I know that's what he meant. In response to my being a fan of the verb, Logan said, “It was ditched. Because what really else can you do with a beat-up truck? You're not parking it.”

All of his photographs have the same forlorn feel and were the product of a trip to Wilmington, NC. Logan wanted new subject matter, and says that photo ops are everywhere. “My resume says I'm on a first name basis with most junkyard dogs.”

“Elements” will be on display at SCOOP, 57 ½ Broad Street, through mid-April.

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