Shelley Wood and Amanda Smith: Between the Aether


March 11-April 30, 2015
Opening reception: March 20, 6-8pm
Closing reception: April 24, 6-8pm

Amidst land and sky, lives a place of wonder and aether…

Bullets © Shelley Wood

Bullets © Shelley Wood

October 25 No. 2 Dollhouse © Amanda Smith

October 25 No. 2 Dollhouse © Amanda Smith

Resting between film and frame reside clouds and lands, man and animals; the place where two Texas photographers envision tall tales of wonder and aether.  A realm where there is always more to something than meets the eye.  Here, together, Shelley Wood and Amanda Smith create a world of creativity and blurred boundaries inviting imaginations to soar.

Texas skies hold crazy, puffy, beautiful, dramatic clouds in all sizes and shapes, which have been inspiring me for several years.  I wish I could reach up and touch them, but I can’t.  So I choose to bring them down another way, down closer to me, with multiple exposures to realize my dream of a stratospheric space – which rests within one frame of film and camera.

For many images, the process begins with clouds layered within another landscape, scene or subject I have captured.  I may choose to expose only part of the frame, moving to another site to expose the second half of a frame.  Images are coalesced, creating a land constructed of tall tales and aether.

These are my illusory visions of LamWood Ranch, where “There is always more to something than meets the eye”, and things right in front of you may not be as they seem.  After all, isn’t life layered with multiple (exposures), experiences and unseen mysteries?

Amanda is from Johnson City, Texas and owner of ASmith Gallery.  Her Pinhole Diaries Series will be featured.

Many people, upon discovering me to be a CPA, have given me quizzical looks and ask how I could possibly be an accountant and a photographer. I see distinct resemblances between the two that may not appear at a glance.

In accounting, the debits must equal the credits or the general ledger is out of balance. A similar balance must occur within the borders of an image. The tension of opposites – light versus dark, foreground versus background, horizontal versus vertical – are similar to debit versus credit. The composition must be balanced to be pleasing to the eye.

Accounting is technical and detailed. Photography shares this trait. From loading the film in the camera (yes, I still shoot film), making the exposure and then the final print, the details all need to come together for an image to be successful.

Accountants are required to follow many rules. The rules may be applied creatively, but rules are rules, and there are definite boundaries that must be respected. Photography and art also have rules but this is where my two professions begin to diverge. Creativity begins when these rules are circumvented and unobserved. The boundaries become vague and imagination can soar.  This is why I love photography.


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