The Ides of March: Omens and Predictions Exhibition
“Beware the Ides of March!”
So wrote Shakespeare as Julius Caesar was slain on this day.
While I was familiar with the Ides of March as a day of religious significance, I wasn’t intimately familiar. In addition to other significance, it was a deadline day for Romans to settle debts. So much history.
In selecting this group of photographs from the many wonderful submissions, I generally hewed more closely to Omens and Predictions. Even for a nonreligious, relatively non-spiritual person such as myself, I love anything having to do with omens, predictions, prophecy. Signs are there, if you choose to recognize them.
The winning image, by Rebecca Sexton Larson, struck me on each pass I made through the submissions. As I narrowed down, it never lost impact. The mystery of the swirling leaves above a hole in the ground drew me in. Swirling leaves frequently signify the hint of change, the hint of otherworldly presence or intervention. A hole in the ground could be just that—but how deep does the hole go? Is it a grave, a portal, an escape to the other side of the planet? This perpetually unanswerable question sticks with me. My psyche is unsettled, and I like it that way.
I wanted to give an honorable mention to “Young Boy in Tree,” by Frank Mullaney for this photograph as well, for I found it an impactful signifier, and my eye kept returning.
It was difficult to select just 40 pictures, but such is the nature of contests. Using the theme of Omens and Predictions as a guiding principle led me to the images you now cast your eyes upon. – Juror Alyssa Coppelman
Alyssa Coppelman is an independent photo editor who works regularly with Harper’s Magazine and the Oxford American magazine. She regularly works with photographers, editing portfolios and photobook projects, and enjoys speaking as a visiting lecturer to photography students about building their careers. When she’s not hard at work, Alyssa is trying to make everyone go dancing.
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