FLOATING WORLD Allusions to Poems by Japanese Women of the 7th-20th Centuries

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© Courtesy of the artist and Verve Gallery of Photography
FLOATING WORLD Allusions to Poems by Japanese Women of the 7th-20th Centuries

219 East Marcy Street
Santa Fe, NM 87501
December 7th, 2012 - January 19th, 2013
Opening: December 7th, 2012 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM



VERVE Gallery of Photography is pleased to present a one-person exhibition and book signing with VERVE gallery artist Brigitte Carnochan. The Public Reception will be held on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 5-7pm.  The exhibition is on view through Saturday, January 19th, 2013.


Northern California artist, Brigitte Carnochan, will exhibit fine art photographic images from her new book entitled, Floating World: Allusions to Poems by Japanese Women of the 7th—20th Centuries. The exhibition prints from the book are made on Japanese handmade mulberry paper.  This new technique is a departure from Carnochan's earlier hand painted gelatin silver prints.  Nevertheless, the relationship between the beauty in the human form and botanical studies still guides Carnochan’s imagery.  These new figure and nature studies demonstrate a deepening of Carnochan's signature style of beautiful sensuality.

Carnochan found the inspiration for her Floating World images while rummaging through a bookstore in Princeton, New Jersey.  There she discovered a volume of poems, mostly tanka and haiku, written by Japanese women from the 7th through 20th centuries. Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi translated the book, published in 1977.

"I was immediately drawn to the poems, and as I read them—so allusive and rich in imagery—I knew that I wanted to make their photographic equivalents.  I quickly realized that I wanted to create my own versions of the poems as images. The title, Floating World, refers to the conception of a world as evanescent, impermanent, of fleeting beauty and divorced from the responsibilities of the mundane, everyday world. For the poets in this volume (whose names are calligraphed in each image) that world centered on love—longing for love and the beloved, mourning lost love, pondering its mystery. The beauty of the natural world—its flowers, landscape, the moon, and the changing seasons—serves as the primary metaphor." —Brigitte Carnochan
John Wood, the editor of 21ST Editions, in his introduction to the book writes:
“I have been reading Japanese poetry for over fifty years, and I have never encountered more beautiful English versions than these. With her twin arts of photography and poetry, Carnochan has given us the floating world as we have not previously encountered it…her work is marked by sensuality, beauty, and craftsmanship, three characteristics rare in the moribund world of contemporary art.”
Barbara Smith in an essay in AFTERCAPTURE writes:
“ Like the original [Japanese] poets, Carnochan created pictures of the mind: thoughtful, sensual, still or with just a whisper of movement. And, under it all, the suggestion of something unfilled, a quiet yearning. Style personified.”

In addition to the trade edition publication of Floating World, A Limited Edition of 25 Copies were also produced and each Limited Edition is available in a matching clamshell box with an exclusive 8x8” print titled, Let Us Set to Sea.
Carnochan’s photographs have been exhibited at galleries and museums nationally and internationally and her work is represented in museum, corporate and private collections. A book of her images, Bella Figura: Painted Photographs by Brigitte Carnochan, was published by Modernbook Editions in 2006. A limited edition monograph, The Shining Path, was also published in 2006 by 21st Publications. Carnochan was named a Hasselblad Master Photographer for 2003 and her work has recently been featured on covers of Camera Arts and Silvershotz and in Color, Lenswork, Zoom, View Camera, Polaroid, Black and White, and Studija magazines. Three catalogs of her previous work have been published. She teaches photography classes regularly through the Stanford University Continuing Studies program.