The exhibition comprises a selection of images from the book, STILL/LIFE IN MOTION and interrogates the effects of time/ageing on body and mind, similar to the erosive processes in nature. Divided into clusters, each governed by a particular emotion, the images allude to our contradictory attitudes towards natural forces in both our physical environment and our bodies. We mostly experience the former with awe; the latter with fear and displeasure.
Fourteen professionals, including doctors and professors, actors, musicians, ballet dancers, teachers and visual artists agreed to perform in front of a camera. They collaborated in a project which stretched over a period of nearly three years. The initial aim, to explore different professions through the prism of ‘moving bodies’, grew into an expression of emotions associated with the process of coming to grips with ageing. STILL/LIFE IN MOTION finally metamorphosed into and exploration of the paradoxes of growing old and living young.
The craft of fine art photography is also highlighted by similar works presented as prints on different surfaces and produced through different techniques. There is for instance a marked difference in our experience of an art work, caused by the effect of different printing, mounting and framing methods. Printed as giclee (digital ink jet) or chemical light jet prints on varied surfaces like different types of archival paper, silk or metal, affect not only production costs but, more importantly, our emotional response to the final product.
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STILL/LIFE IN MOTION – a portrait of time passing by Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht
The photographs included in this exhibition are testimony to the words of distinguished photographer, Ansel Adams who said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”.
This exhibition comprises a fine selection of images from Bettie’s book, STILL/LIFE IN MOTION. It is an exploration of growing older youthfully.
The images allude to our contradictory attitudes towards the natural forces of ageing – those in our physical environment and those of our physical bodies. We often experience the former with awe (see Protea), but the latter with discontent and fear.
Bettie’s conceptual approach to subject matter and unusual camera techniques merge the juxtaposed. Older people dancing, having fun are photographed with slow shutter speed and different types of lighting. The result is extraordinary abstract & expressionist. See for example, “Twilight se voet”, Dance with my Shadow, Glove, Devil’s foot, Touch, Passion!
Well-known photographer, Alfred Stieglitz said that, “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality”.
Bettie, in this subtle manner you have captured images that reflect the joy, spontaneity, as well as the dignity and acceptance of growing older.
I emphasize your message to your daughter, Liezl, and I quote from your book, “May she and all of her generation joyfully embrace each stage of growing older and cherish the wisdom it brings.”