Nature/Nurture | Hiroyo Kaneko and Betsy Weis

MAIN GALLERY | 1.14.09 – 2.20.09

Hiroyo Kaneko

Picnics, people bask under the cherry blossom trees once a year; they gather and enjoy the flowers in bloom. The experience imparts a mixture of spiritual uplift and relief. Nature presents opportunities for us to share moments that become a unique but universal experience in memory. In the locations Kaneko has chosen, she sought situations that hold the feelings that arise from crossing and communing with nature, matter and people. Through the visual richness and complexity of society’s everyday life, her photographs attempt to develop emotional vibrations that will stream into the viewers of her images.

Sentimental Education is comprised of images of Kaneko’s family taken in a bathhouse in Japan. The setting of the bathtub lends itself to an impression of a Japanese painting, even a Renoir painting. There is a sensuality and a sweetness to these photographs that is heartrending. Compared to other objects, a photograph does not hide its origin. It approaches the same level of vulnerability and adaptability as people. And the people in these pictures, the way they touch and hold and nurture each other, is enough to make any viewer pause in their footsteps and think about where they have been in this life.

Betsy Weis

Betsy Weis’ series, Icelandia, embodies the forgotten landscape, a timeless tabula rasa. Her enigmatic images encourage the eye to discern what cannot be defined, what preceded and what awaits. Visual elements in Weis’ images are cryptic like dreams, as though she has interwoven a binary code among the ethereal textures — where water, sand and snow blend seamlessly. Yet something uncanny in its serenity and remoteness reminds us of pre-human consciousness. Weis reveals a curiosity (the product of her finite vision and technical mastery) with endless musings: leaving us with a map but without a compass, urging us to use our senses to navigate independently – Maya Joseph-Goteiner, November 2008