Two photographs from my very new series Pandemic Shadows are part of PH21 Gallery’s show “Urban,” in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. (August 20-30). This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Valid World Hall Gallery, a renowned centre for the visual arts.
The Urban exhibition, curated by Zsolt Batori, is looking at urban life both as it was and sometimes is, and as it is now in the pandemic. The photographers are always very varied, from many parts of the world. Batori’s image choices are always beautiful and fascinating. And in this case very apt. (Check the exhibition link.)
Urban spaces have always been significant sources of inspiration for photographers for a very good reason; the dwelling places of much of humanity provide intensified experiences of how we shape our environment and how we live in the environment we create for ourselves. Cities offer a bounty of visual stimuli for the eye and the camera to catch. The structural beauty of the still lines and shapes of the buildings and streets provide for exciting compositions. The ever-changing swirl of the streets challenges us to capture precious passing moments. Urban life shows an entirely different face during the day and with the lights on at night. Cities are usually busy with action, but recently we have experienced empty streets as well. There are endless ways of portraying the life of the inhabitants of cities, endless ways for photographers to construct their unique interpretations of what urban environments mean for them.
It’s exciting for me to have work exhibited so early in the project. I expect to be working with Pandemic Shadows for quite a while. I can already see changes and development in the new work.
I started being interested in shadow patterns when I began taking iPhone photos. The pandemic, the isolation and the walking I’ve been doing, transformed my vision into something far more emotionally involving. So I started a new series of photos that were shaped by sheltering in place and the pandemic isolation world. And the photos are inspired in part by Nina Simone’s assertion that “an artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.”
There are shadows on paths, some of them on sidewalks, some of them somewhere more complex. They share a kind of abstract beauty that is reflective of the isolation and the beauty of a moment.