Terri Bright: Sonnets
Reading Terri Bright’s Sonnets
Terri Bright is much like her photographs, understated with a deep intelligence running below the surface. Her photographs in Sonnets, published by Flash Powder Projects, are slices of solitude and mystery bathed in reds, blue, green, white and neutral palettes. The photographs require that one contemplates them before considering the minimalist aesthetic and how it contributes to the quiet power of the image. Her compositions are softened by the everyday subject matter that is carefully isolated in the frame creating narratives of light, shadow, form, line and melancholia. The photographs speak of place without revealing place, promoting the feeling of ambiguity. It’s hard to pinpoint a year the “Sonnet” images were created because they appear they could be vintage, but yet they are contemporary.
Terri is a methodical photographer; she has steadily worked on this portfolio of images for almost two decades. There is no randomness in her approach to deliberately capture unlikely beauty and places of solitude. Years ago when I first saw Terri’s work, I was reminded of artists like Stephen Shore and William Eggleston who are able to peel away the trends in photography from their memory banks and turn to the world with fresh eyes. Bright’s Sonnets is a body of work that is truly personal and unique with a style that welcomes one to rest and reflect within the photographs, a much-needed reprieve from the busy world of images.
Terri Bright is a fine art photographer whose work focuses on the articulation of non-traditional beauty. With a background in painting, she now uses the camera to create canvases of quiet, contemplative spaces. Bright currently teaches photography at Furman University in Greenville, SC where she is an Associate Professor of Art. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the US. In 2006, she received a full-year Sabbatical Grant funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her monograph, Sonnets (2016), was recently published by Flash Powder Projects.
In her artist statement, Terri claims, “In Sonnets, I create quiet, lyrical narratives from the everyday – inorganic forms disclose life-like characteristics, randomly placed objects seem purposeful, bent frames become graceful. These images are like small meditations, granting permission to pause, and creating space for contemplation. Forgotten items and ordinary spaces possess a kind of wilted beauty that alternately suggest playfulness, tranquility, melancholy and desire.”
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