Dale Niles: What Lies Within: Andrea M. Noel’s Multiple Eclectic Collections
One of the great pleasures of attending the SlowExposures festival in Zebulon, Georgia a few years back (and again this fall), was meeting the amazing posse of people who created a photo festival from humble beginnings. One of those people is Andrea M. Noel, someone who has a strong sense of design in objects and art. At the end of the event, Andrea invited me out to her car and when she opened the hatch back, she revealed an amazing tableau of dolls. I was mesmerized and wowed by this gesture of creativity.
Georgia photographer Dale Niles had the same reaction, when first seeing and then later understanding the depth of Andrea’s collection. For the past several years, Dale has been photographing her collections, ranging from hair pins, shoe shine boxes, to ever changing Barbie doll tableaux. This is indeed a collaborative project with both Andrea and Dale working together to creatively document the collections.
Dale has garnered much success this year, recently closing a solo show, Life Revisited, at Brickworks Gallery-Atlanta, Georgia. She will have two more solo shows opening soon, the first opening June 1st at Art Clayton-Jonesborough, Georgia and the second, Solidifying Roots s at Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, NC, opening July 1.
Dale Niles was born in Norfolk, Virginia. She received her BA in sociology from Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, NC. Upon graduation she interned as a probation officer.
Recent and upcoming exhibits include APG Gallery for Portfolio 2018, Brickworks Gallery in Atlanta, Depth of Field in Carmel, CA, Arts Clayton Gallery in Jonesboro, GA, Slow Exposures in Georgia, SXSE Gallery in Molena,GA, Rankin Gallery in Columbus, GA, Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas, TX, and Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill, NC. Online her work has appeared in NYC4PA “One” exhibit, Chromatic Photo Awards, International Photography awards, Santa Fe Workshops, Moscow International Foto Awards. Publications include her series “Gone” in Shadow and Light Magazine, SXSE Magazine, Shots, Oxford America, “Color It Red” issue of Shadow and Light Magazine and The Hand.
What Lies Within:
Andrea M. Noel’s Multiple Eclectic Collections
For more than 4 years I have been photographing Andrea M. Noel’s eclectic collections. I had no idea of the depth of the items when I ask her if I could photograph them. And so began an interesting discovery of the collector’s world. I am often asked if she is a hoarder. Absolutely not! All items are categorized and neatly put away in her attic until she determines which one is to be brought out for display.
Starting with bottle caps and matchbooks as a child the collections have exploded into so many different directions. There are soap savers, wetters, corn holders and shoe shine boxes. Other categories included pressed aluminum trays, bed pans, aluminum ice trays, assorted boxes, framed photos of people that she does not know as well flattened and twisted forks and spoons and broken eyeglasses. Other items include rulers, rubber band guns, damaged coins, water sprinklers, metal tags of all sorts, old buttons, wooden covered scrapbooks, pieces of found metal of all sizes ranging from ‘precious metal’ to ‘heavy metal’. More categories include postcards, knitting needles, paper clips, darning eggs, sizzle sticks,and letter openers. The fact that she is well read sparked another accumulation. There are pejorative names for women and people’s unusual names (and she has referenced the source of each one). There are dollhouses which are painstakingly set up by scale. There are hundreds of Barbies and dolls of all sizes. Each is impeccably dressed and accessorized. The list goes on and on.
Andrea can see something special in each of her collections. She feels that it is a way to connect with people, past and present and of course there is always the thrill of the hunt. She searches second hand stores looking for treasures. She has friends as well as the employees of second hand stores that assist her with additional finds. She diligently scours estate sales and has gotten to know the people who organize these sales. The breadth of all that Andrea has seems endless. We still have a lot of sessions to do.
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