TRIBE at the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock Abbey, UK
The indefatigable photographer, curator, festival organizer and all around wonder woman, Lori Vrba recently curated an exhibition, TRIBE, for the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey in Chippenham, Wiltshire the U.K. As 2018 is the centenary of Women’s suffrage in the UK, the National Trust is celebrating it with a series of programs under the banner Women and Power. The Fox Talbot Museum is presenting three exhibitions of photographic work by women throughout the year, under the directorship of the innovative curator, Roger Watson. Today we are celebrating a magical exhibition that showcased a range of photographic processes by eight American women, presented in a setting that matches the work itself so beautifully, with a true reverence for the photograph as object and the notion that photography allows us to connect the feminine self with the human self.
Tribe is an exhibition of works inspired by the romantic notion of storytelling and featured the work of Kirsten Hoving, Heather Evans Smith, Lori Vrba, Emma Powell, Anne Berry, K.K.DePaul, Heidi Kirkpatrick and Tama Hochbaum.
Curator Lori Vrba states:
We are earnest American Women of Photography walking in the footsteps of the greats who have come before us. Dorothea Lange, Imogene Cunningham, Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Mary Ellen Mark, Margaret Bourke White and Sally Mann…we honor the path you have paved and feel called to excellence because of your life’s work.
We, as women, have shared our lives intimately throughout history in the cycle of nourishment. We have instinctively supported the greater good as mothers and daughters and sisters in childbearing and caregiving. We nurse the world together. We are Tribe.
Our work is feminine without apology. We are drawn to that romantic notion of story-telling, memory, nostalgia, the natural world and family. As artists, we come together within our medium for inspiration, collaboration, postulation, and celebration. This connection provides a deep well of power that we as makers are strengthened and sustained by. It is our commitment to Tribe that not only elevates the work itself but keeps us moving to the lunar rhythms of a passionate and sensitive creative life.
Anne Berry is a photographic artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Believing that photography contains the power to evoke empathy, and that caring motivates action, her work centres around children and animals. Through Anne’s photographs they communicate, through feelings rather than language, a nostalgic sense of the loss of this connection and a longing to regain it and nurture it before it is too late.
Emma Powell is an assistant professor of art at Colorado College. Powell’s photographic work focuses on fictional narrative. She creates art that visualizes curious scenarios in order to convey a message or feeling instead of a record of a moment. Powell utilises a range of hand-applied photographic emulsions in order to visualize the distance between fantasy and reality, as well as to make prints that appear as objects instead of windows.
Known for imaginative photographs that challenge the boundaries of the photographic medium, Kirsten Hoving’s work has been displayed in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Having taught art history at Middlebury College for over thirty-five years, she has also curated exhibitions at the College museum and other venues. In addition to her individual photographic practice, between 2014 and 2017 she has collaborated with her daughter, photographer Emma Powell, on the highly acclaimed photographic fairy tale, “Svala’s Saga.”
Lori Vrba‘s imagery is rooted in themes of memory, illusion, loss and revival. Her assemblage works combine found objects with original photographs that speak to the southern sensibilities of storytelling. Vrba is a self-taught artist committed to film and the traditional wet darkroom.
Heather Evans Smith is an award winning fine art and conceptual portrait photographer based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Expanding on her previous projects that examine marriage and motherhood, Heather shifts the focus onto to her daughter and her deeply considered photographs explore the emotion of how mothers and daughters are connected and also reflect notions of play, of attachment, of history, and most importantly, of love.
K.K. DePaul is a storyteller who mixes themes surrounding memory and secrets into her photographic work. Her process begins with a collection of elements, cutting them apart and reassembling them into a visual narrative.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina based photographer Tama Hochbaum has been capturing televised content with her iPhone, in particular films from the 1940s. She organizes her accumulated repertoire of source material into grids and aggregate compositions, printing the digital files onto various materials. The series, which began as homage to her late mother, has evolved into an exploration of generationally stacked media, their correlation with personal memory, and in juxtaposition, the accumulation of shared cultural references. Hochbaum is represented by the George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco.
Heidi Kirkpatrick is a fine art photographer and educator based in Portland, Oregon. Throughout Kirkpatrick’s career her work has explored the female figure, family narratives and contemporary issues of being a woman. Kirkpatrick applies film positives onto objects such as vintage children’s blocks, books, mah-jong tiles, ashtrays, and tins, creating unique photo objects that take on a new life.
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