Kerry Mansfield

THRESHOLD | noun: thresh•old / The magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result or condition to occur or be manifested.

Extreme sleep deprivation will push you to the edge of sanity’s cliff. Once you’ve crossed that threshold jumping is the only remaining option. In early 2016 a doctor directed me to stop taking a mental health medication incorrectly prescribed 7 years prior. Unbeknownst to me, withdrawal from the drug Seroquel is considered markedly worse than heroin withdrawal, often lasting for 3 months or more. And so my unintended journey into a timeless world began.

Patricia Bender

Euclidean Pursuits | After producing traditional analog photographs for many years, working with black and white film in the chemical darkroom, I recently decided I want to be even more hands-on in creating images, and I began to experiment with photograms.  At first I played with typical photogram stuff, arranging plants, glass objects, fabric, and other sorts of odd things on photographic paper to get a feel for the process of creating these camera-less images.  I was uninspired, and so was the work.

Then, with a bow to Bauhaus, I set my sights on constructing geometric abstractions, largely from collaged paper cutouts and hand-drawn paper negatives, and an obsession was born.  I could not get enough, and I have been working with single-minded intensity on this series for the past year.

An image of complex and intricate beauty can be developed from the simple mark of a line.  This fascinates me.  Rudimentary geometric forms -- circles, squares, dots -- can be combined in infinite ways to generate moving and mysterious nonobjective images.  A line leads to a triangle, which leads to a cascade of circles, and before you know it, you have created something no one has ever seen before.

This, for me, is the wonder of abstraction and the crux of its power:  its ability to move you in deep, inexplicable ways with the simplest of forms and with no reference to reality.

This work has been guided by a constant voice in my head asking, “What if I . . . ?”  What if I added crayon, folded the paper, smudged the graphite?  My creative process for all this work has been a joyful, intuitive, ongoing series of experiments in the darkroom to see what will happen if I . . . . 

My only rule has been no erasing, no removing.  Every mark or fold or tear I make stays and serves as a building block for the next mark or fold or tear.  There can be no mistakes because the image I’m creating does not exist in the real world.  It can’t be wrong.  This rule has helped mute the insistent critic in my head and given me the freedom to try new things until an image feels right.

So I continue to play and experiment with objects, lines, papers, shapes, light, shadow, texture, size, and depth in the darkroom to construct my own abstract creations. To paraphrase one of my heroes, the artist Dorothea Rockburne, I want to create photograms that are solely of themselves and not about something else.  It’s a heady and exciting process.

C.J. Pressma

Evidence & Inhabitance | In 1972 I was watching the Fellini film Roma and was captivated by splashes of light involving sparks from a street car at night. It seems strange to me (almost absurd) that such a momentary scene became a motivation for an entire body of work that is interwoven throughout my artistic career. I call this series Evidence & Inhabitants. They are the evidence of places and people I can never fully remember, but manifest themselves in the photographs I make. Today, I am still discovering what this work reveals to me. Its dark nature and surreal quality causes me to think that it constitutes a narrative about my subconscious life.

I have always been interested in surreal art and this interest has caused me to be influenced by the photographic works of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Clarence John Laughlin, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Frederick Sommer. Their work has inspired me to create the Images & Inhabitants pictures.

I have been drawn to make these pictures in abandoned places and of inhabitants who might have or may still be living there. I search for the “evidence” of humans where very few humans currently reside. I am like an archaeologist sifting through a dream-like landscape trying to imagine what these people were like. www.cjpressma.com

Daniel Kariko

Suburban Symbiosis: Insectum domesticus | This project is an investigation of our relationship to suburban landscape through micro images of locally found insects and other arthropods. My images utilize the combination of Scanning Electron Microscope and optical Stereo Microscope, in order to achieve a “portrait”-like effect inspired by the tradition of 17th Century Dutch Masters.

Insects find way into our homes no matter how vigilant we are in our effort to keep the nature on the outer side of our windowpanes. During my inquiry into suburban experience, I started recording the indoor wildlife consistent with the environment my subdivision occupies.

 These little (and sometimes not so little) invaders are natural product of our own occupation of their habitat. As we keep expanding our subdivisions to the outskirts of towns, we inhabit recently altered environments. In general, I study environmental and political aspects of landscape, use of land, and cultural interpretation of inhabited space. This anthropomorphic presentation of our closest, often invisible, co-habitants in a humorous, quasi-scientific way, is an invitation to consider the evidence of the human impact on the landscape as we constantly redraw boundaries between us and the natural environment.

Insects I photograph are found during my daily routines, either at home, or at work, and are titled after an unspecified location, and a partial date, further hinting on scientific specimen presentation device. These Images are meant to be portraits of our often-overlooked housemates.

Orfeas Sampatakakis

I don't like writing statements for any of my series. In my photography there are no intentions, I don't want to say anything. I think I'm just trying to find beauty in the commonplace. And it's not prerequisite to go far to find that, so I go for a walk and take my camera with me. I believe in seeing photography without context, without having to explain it with words. Thus resulting in fewer assumptions. This way you allow more space for the photographs to exist.

Ioanna Sakellaraki

In the effort to let go of the human obsession for order and rhythm, I led myself adrift in the big wide world. Being away, lost in the strangeness of the unfamiliar, I constantly looked for home but never returned to it. It is said that tortoises crawl about on red earth, going nowhere in plenty of time. They carry their own home with them forever. The power of recalling and rebuilding memory from the nonexistent. Where there is no place to go and nothing to become; the being-ness of human freedom.

Francesca Maria Fiorella

Messapia is the name given by the Greeks to Salento and it means “Land between two seas”, the Ionian sea and the Adriatic sea. Located in the most eastern part of Italy, it is a crossing point for migrants and one of the most important routes in the geography of myth.

This is where Virgil sets the landing of Aeneas in the humilis Italia; this is where thousands of  refugees land today, running away from their home country, like Aeneas, crossing the Mediterranean sea.

Considering how powerful classicism can be, this project was created to relate mythological and contemporary narrative. For this reason, I decided to compare two stories: the escape and arrival of the Aeneas  and S. who, like the virgilian hero, left his country and crossed the sea from Turkey to arrive on the coasts of  Salento.

The images describing them come to confuse the subjects, revealing the slowness and the effort of the journey and recalling symbols and details that the travellers collect to get immediate answers to the uncertainty of their destiny.

Harris Steinman

I have found it very difficult to make sense of my life lately. I grapple with the complex arrangement of layers and layers of busy and conflicting streams.

 In rare moments, when photographing this set of work, I find solitude and harmony. Confluence of the streams seem to occur. A rhythm becomes apparent. The noise abates.

 I wonder if it is in the repetition of shape and abstracted simplicity that gets me there, the dappled dance of light suggesting the way. This becomes the moment.

Ioustini Drakoulakou

INERTIA | According to Newton’s First Law, an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.  The experience of limbo, due to any sudden incident in the course of one’s life, is the cornerstone where my image narrative is based. Anything can change within a fraction of a second, and this work reflects an attempt to interpret and accept loss and “constant-change” phases. The world that I create and photograph is based on everyday life, but the accompaniment of a cinematic aesthetics aims to give a fictional twist and a sensation where still nothing is real nor surreal. Those images become metaphors to another reality. Characters represent archetypal figures, being “indecipherable” while confronting an internal collision. They are somewhere  in-between, struggling to reach “light” again.

Maria Oliveira

Under the surveillance of ancient animals | The project is based on the place where I was born and grew up. It works as annotations of my return to this important period of my life, the memories that I have and the way I feel this place now, after many years past . The place is changing, but also my relation with it. It appears to me now as a mute, serene, place, where there’s no time. People and a primordial connection to nature, empty paths, silent houses and animals as the last guardians of this home.

Igor Londero

EARTHQUAKES |  In May 1976, a strong earthquake destroyed a large area of Friuli Venezia Giulia, in the northeast of Italy. also known in Italy as ìTerremoto del Friuliî (Friulian earthquake), took place on May 6 with a moment magnitude of 6.5 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). 978 people were killed, 2400 were injured and 157,000 were left homeless. In 1976 my father lived in Buja, a small town near the epicenter of the earthquake, and was 25 years old, almost my actual age.

Natalia Rivera

NYC is complex and mixed city, a city known for its diversity of race, religion, and people from all over the world. Within this city's diverse demographic, there is a group of women over 65 that has been able to remain unperturbed, and they've been observers of the city's constant change. They created homes without families and they've been able to age in place. Many of them inhabit rent-controlled apartments and that's where they've lived for the past 30 or 40 years. I became intrigued by the lives of these women. I see myself in them. I'm aging in a foreign country that has become my home and I've been able to develop strong friendships comparable to the ones back home. But, as I age in this foreign place, the dilemma of aging alone hits hard and I can’t help but wonder if by wanting a family of my own I’m just trying to fix an unknown future. Getting to know these women and seeing their homes, I see women comfortable with who they are and the decisions they’ve made. Meeting them has taught me that whatever I decide it will be OK. Home is many things but ultimately is what we do with the space we inhabit and how we make those spaces our own. Through these strong women, I have found strength in myself too, to embrace what remains unknown.

Ilias Lois

Aisle Seat | “The window seat is perfect,” she says. “You have complete control of the window shade, you can see the view and the horizon from up there. People in aisle seats can’t see the horizon. Maybe, they are used to it. I don’t know what goes wrong with them.”

Aisle Seat [a seat, esp on a plane, situated at the end of a row, adjacent to the aisle: Collins English Dictionary] explores the impossibility of viewing the horizon by the residents of the big bustling and pulsating metropolises. It is equally futile to be in this life and not be able to approach the sea and the horizon, as it is to fy up high and cannot enjoy the view of them. iliaslois.com

Landon Speers

The Maritime provinces that make up the eastern coast of Canada represent a particular geography unlike many. From the ancient jagged cliffs of Nova Scotia to the gentle rolling hills & red rock shores of Prince Edward island, there is a uniqueness there I’ve yet to encounter elsewhere. With an industrious people & relative isolation, it feels untouched in ways other places might experience change. I’m charmed by it’s splendour & relish any chance I get to investigate more of what makes it so. This body of images comprises an inaugural survey of an area I intend to explore further. 

Kaitlyn Danielson

Much of what I explore in my artwork stems from an interest in the past, memory, and the history of photography in its’ relation to the present. I am constantly questioning the function of the photograph and how it has evolved.

My collage work serves as a way for me to consider the fallacy that photography is truth, as well as examine the function of the photograph as a necessity for memory. Themes of time, impermanence, and death also emerge. Each collage is constructed using old photographs, paper ephemera, and small objects that are found separately, and then pieced together to construct loose narratives to be interpreted by the viewer. I am drawn to the idea of discarded fragments of former lives coming together to form new life. The absence of information regarding the photographs’ original source allows the viewer to create their own stories and memories, sparking a dialogue between past and present, truth and fiction.

This body of work is ongoing and currently untitled. In contrast to my usual art practice, when making this work I do not restrict myself thematically, but allow my decision making to be guided by intuition. Therefore, each collage also embodies a reflection of my own subconscious mind and memory. 

Kuba Rodziewicz

I took these photographs in Campania - a region of Southern Italy. I was travelling by train through the surroundings of Mount Vesuvius. At the same time Southern Europe sweltered under a record heatwave called by Italians “Lucifer”. I was particularly drawn by the complex idea of a place where chronic volcano hazard and hell’s heat intersects with an immense beauty and enduring criminal and economic problems. “Possible Scenario” is a meditation on a mysterious nature of this troubled land.

Kathleen Meier

Huis Clos | This series confronts us to a suggestive confinement. What happens in us when we are faced into a desperate situation ? What does we feel when we have no longer a connexion with the outside world ?

The disorientation and the contact loss with the outside put us into a physical and mental isolation and can lead us in a conscious or subconscious way to modify, perhaps to alter, our relationship with the external reality. This maze slowly conduct us into a mental illness.