Photo Union League
Next Photo Union Meeting Monday,October 12th @ 6:30
Photo Union Meeting Dates
MPC Members: $27.00 a session
Non-Members: $30.00 per session
Note all meetings are on Tuesdays 6:30 - 9:00
Scheduled Meetings for 2015
October 12th- Please note this is a Monday
Message from Sally
Hola mi amigos de Photo Union!
How delightful to see you all again, and to welcome some new artists as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your work. I was inspired by how our collective Fair images provided a unique and undiscovered view of this well known event. It will be exciting to see this work representing our individual “versions” in our Photo Union exhibition – remember, entries close tomorrow (Tuesday) at midnight! I look forward to your participation.
Our assignment for October concerns Emblems; allow me to elaborate. By definition, an emblem is “a symbolic representation of a particular quality or concept”. We are all quite familiar with those emblems to which the term is most often applied: Flags as symbols of nations, awards as symbols of achievement. But for our purposes, let’s allow the concept of Emblems to function more broadly, more personally.
The concept for this assignment was borne of a want to allow for photographs of Autumn (at the onset of the idea, of turning leaves) without being a mandate to do so, while offering a premise that would provide for such endeavors, since I know many are inspired by the season. Which lead me to thinking...fall colors are not themselves Autumn; Autumn is a celestial event, marked at least as significantly by temperature, angle of light, length of day and proximity to summer and winter as it is turning leaves. Yet to most of us, fall colors are themselves an emblem of Autumn – a symbolic representation of a broader concept, and its associated qualities. Thus, the notion of the representation of broad ideas through more intimate, esoteric or edited ones serves as the core for this assignment.
The painter Rene Margritte ignited the surrealist movement by creating a simple painting of a pipe replete with the incorporated language “This is not a pipe.” So simple and thought provoking and true: Indeed, a painting of a pipe is not itself a pipe. It is a representation of a pipe, a facsimile. In essence, it is an emblem of a pipe; the color and contour of the paint recall in us a recognition of the real object – its dimension, its texture, its use...for some, its smell and taste. Accordingly, it can be said that all photography is inherently emblematic: When we view a photograph of a road, it is not a road; it is a representation thereof. But more, when we view a photograph of a road, it may say more to us than just a description of its practical attributes. It can become a symbol of freedom, or loneliness; transition, destiny, or a particular aspect of geography or nature.
So I ask: What emblems are meaningful to you? Is it leaves symbolizing and embodying the broader idea of a season? Is it a child or family, symbolizing love? Is it your oldest pair of shoes, symbolizing where you’ve been, or who you once were, or material attachments or tastes? Is it your mother’s hands, symbolizing her protectiveness, or weariness, or your own fears of her aging?
As is typical of our assignments, there is no response that is correct, or wrong. The point is to work consciously, to work in a considered manner, and through our deliberations to become more in tune with our world, and ourselves – and with this, to make our work more meaningful. Is there a concept you wish to convey? Is there an image you wish to capture? Working in either direction – from concept to object, or from object to narrative – applies effectively. But we are not working randomly; we are working with motivation, an idea in our hearts or minds or eyes or all of these at once. It might be said that all photographs are emblems. But the ones you create are yours alone.
I will look forward to your interpretation of Emblems, be they uniquely personal or distinctly universal. I think we’ll find that these become one in the same, since work created with passion and openness allows for one’s own narrative, both as a creator of work, and a viewer of it.
Feel free to pose any questions if you have them, and thank you for sharing your world.