Thursday, April 23, 2015

Route 17

      Route 17 (Timber Village Museum, Blind River, Ontario. To June 18th, 2015)
     Dani Lynn  Redgrift is a very good technician. All her images are well composed, her close-ups with a nice contrast between sharply focussed foreground and out-of-focus colour-field background, her wide angle shots ordering the busy detail in carefully arranged blocks of colour and texture. She uses Photoshop mostly to do what in the days of film any printer would do in the darkroom, to dodge and burn in, to control contrast and gamma. She likes to use HDR (high dynamic range) to dramatise skies and water, or to shift reality towards the surreal. She chooses to exhibit images that she knows will appeal to her audience. The result is that I don’t get much of a sense of her vision, of how she sees the world around her.
     With one exception: landscape and waterscape. She sees the wildness, the dark side, the glimpses of inhuman forces at work. Her pictures of forests, sky, and water remind us that no matter how familiar the bush may seem, it’s another reality, one that doesn’t notice us, in which we are merely guests. She uses HDR both to emphasise the inhumanness and to distance us from it, so that we can contemplate it with something close to equanimity.
     Worth a careful look. Matted prints available. **½

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