Brock instructor sheds light on old photographs in New York photography exhibition

What’s more exciting to an artist than submitting their work to be on display for thousands of people to see? Answer: being invited to have your work put on display for thousands of people to see in New York! This is exactly the situation that Brock University visual arts instructor, Amy Friend, has found herself in as her work is being put on display in Brooklyn, New York in an exhibition entitled “Reframe: an Exploration of Memory and Nostalgia.”

“It’s nice to be invited to a show to display your work because when that happens as an artist I go and research the other artists that are in the show and it gives me an idea of how the curator will present the work and why they want certain things presented together.”

A photo called "I dream of that day" from Amy Friend's series, Dare Alla Luce

A photo called “I dream of that day” from Amy Friend’s series, Dare Alla Luce

The exhibition begins September 18 continuing until the 28th at the Photoville exhibition in Brooklyn, NY. Photoville is made up of a series of shipping containers, each with a different grouping of photos inside where spectators can actually go inside the container to look. It is now the largest photographic exhibition in New York and is among the most-attended photographic events across the United States in what is only its second year as an exhibition.

“The unconventional way of showing the work is quite nice instead of having to go to a building to see one specific body of work or a gallery,” Amy said. “It’s very open-concept. There’s a lot of different work that’s going to be exhibited in other shipping containers, and it’s outdoors so I definitely think the atmosphere is going to affect the way you see the work.”

The exhibit “Reframe: an Exploration of Memory and Nostalgia”, asked artists to take old photographs and recreate and present them in a new light, and that’s exactly what Amy did.

The work she has submitted comes from her series called “Dare Alla Luce”, an Italian term for “bring to the light”, which Amy says is in reference to birth. In the series, Amy allows for light to shine through holes in the photographs, literally bringing parts of the photos to the light and creating something entirely new.

“Originally, I had started this project by sewing things onto the photographs, but when I was working on one piece, I saw the way the light was coming through and it gave me this idea,” Amy said. “I never really have a set plan for my work. I just allow it to happen through whatever I think it should be.”

Some of the photos are from a family member’s album, and while many of the photos were other family members from before, some of them had no information provided and therefore Amy has renamed them and given them a new life, using the photos to express what she sees in them. One photo in particular features a portrait of three young women and she titled it, “We are the Spirit Rappers”. The title makes reference to the three Fox sisters who were famous for being mediums and talking with the dead. Though the women in Amy’s photograph are not the Fox sisters, the title remains relevant as Amy in her own way is summoning the spirits of the deceased in her photographs and creating something new from the old ones.

The pieces are very striking, and the light coming through the photographs does not distract but rather enhances what is already in the photo. It “brings to the light” important parts of the photo that Amy felt were necessary to the piece.

Amy currently has work submitted in two other exhibits. One is called, “Image: Constructed: Constructed: Image”, at East Carolina University in North Carolina, and focuses on how an image is constructed to look a certain way by blending various techniques. Additionally she has work in an exhibit called Here Nor There at an exhibition in Chicago.

To see more of Amy’s series “Dare Alla Luce” and more of her portfolio visit amyfriend.ca and for more information on the Photoville exhibition visit photoville.com

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