Cabane Studios Fine Art Gallery’s new show, “Karen Davis/Carla Shapiro: Memories, Longing and Close to Home,” which opens in Phoenicia on Saturday, September 22, demonstrates the means by which photography can be used to explore, distil and translate deeply personal elements of one’s life into something universally affecting and eventually transcending.
Davis, co-owner of Hudson’s great Davis Orton Gallery and teacher of professional development for artists, whose latest works explore family and the intimate world of home, uses dolls in narrative settings (“The McCanns”) and household objects to tell deep tales that many of us choose to forget, or simply overlook in the busy-ness of everyday living.
“While I have explored a range of subjects in the 20 years I have been a photographer, somewhat to my surprise, I find that much of my work has centered on my family and me,” she says about her latest work. “Within this exhibition format I am able, for the first time, to suggest the interconnections between my still-lifes, family portraits and self-portraits.”
Shapiro, an award-winning artist based in Chichester and teaching at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, will be showing a new body of work focused on memory and longing – two eternal themes for all artists – and one that infused her best-known body of local work, in which she used forest-hung prayer flags to capture the shifted reality that 9/11 represented for so many in the year after its tragic occurrence.
“As a photographer I have taken countless pictures, but now I purchase images that remind me of my childhood. I find them on the Internet, at flea markets and at yard sales,” she notes. “I then scan the old snapshots into the computer, make changes, print them in platinum/palladium and add paper, fabric and bric-a-brac to create a collaged affect. Through the process of creating these images I experience memory, longing and joy.”
“Karen Davis/Carla Shapiro: Memories, Longing and Close to Home” opens at Cabane Studios at 38 Main Street in Phoenicia with a reception on Saturday, September 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open weekends or by appointment. Call (845) 688-5490 or visit www.cabanestudios.com for information.