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Joy, shunned

Joy, shunned. Copyright © 2018 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

I finished processing this picture a while ago. What’s stopped me posting it (and the associated background images) is that I couldn’t come up with a suitable title for the picture/post. I’ve been mulling it over for days (I’m still not, happy with the title, but I’ve got to move on — updated in 2019 with a marginally better title).

At the beginning of the week, we re-visited Crystal Bridges. We went primarily for the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition and to see the Bachman-Wilson House (Frank Lloyd Wright). Sadly, I thought the O’Keeffe exhibition was disappointing, but the Bachman-Wilson House was great and has provoked a lot of discussions (and watching a series of Grand Designs Australia et al on Netflix during the week)

However, once again, photographically, ‘Sappho’ and ‘The Bubble’ stole the show. Though unlike my first visit, when I knew I’d got the picture I wanted there and then, this time it wasn’t until I’d worked on the image in post-production that I knew that I had nailed it. The problem was that they’ve rearranged the main galleries, and changed the lighting, in my opinion much to the detriment of the art on display. The ambient lighting has been boosted by uplighters that reflect off the wooden ceiling casting a pale yellow pall over everything. Gone is the dark and spotlights.

The Sappho and Bubble statues have been moved, and it was the juxtaposition of the two that intrigued me. It looked like Sappho was shunning Desha Delteil (The model for ‘The Bubble’). The difference in the emotion exuded (represented?) by the two pieces only adds to the tension.

The picture was a pain to frame because of the surrounding artwork (not to mention people constantly wandering into the shot), the external glass door, and a white sticker on the far wall. I tried using Sappho to hide the door, but visually it brought the two sculptures too close together. So I had to use the wider shot that included the door, resisting the temptation to remove it in post.

The lighting though was a different story. That I changed to match my previous visit, removing the ghastly ambient lighting, leaving just the highlights from the spotlights. The choice of black and white for the image was a given. Though, I was interested to see that in the color version, the color and light on the floor draws your eye away from Sappho and onto ‘The Bubble’ making it the focus of the picture (well, for me anyway).   

Sappho. Artist: William Wetmore Story (1819 – 1895).

The Bubble. Artist: Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (1880 – 1980).

Copyright © 2018 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.