Sunday, May 26, 2013

RUTLAND: Don Ross "Photographing Quarries" at the Downtown Gallery

Opening Reception with artist Don Ross: Friday, May 31, 6-8 pm
Downtown Gallery in the Center Street Alley

(between the Paramount Theater and the Sunapee Bank
Rutland, VT

photograph by Don Ross

The Castleton College Downtown Gallery is pleased to exhibit “Photographing Quarries,” 
a collection of 15 photographs from artist Don Ross of Brandon, Vermont.  
May 15 – June 15, 2013 
Opening Reception Friday, May 31, 6-8 pm

Walk into a still, cool, meditative space and stand before Don Ross’ photographs of the quarries of western and central Vermont.  Look into the quarries through his camera lens, and you see the long history of the earth, as well as the brief impact of man’s practical industry.  Ross says, “Men were digging big holes, and these inadvertent works of art are what is left.”

He looked into these places of utter utility, and saw the serene, implacable surfaces of antiquity:  the geometry of nature and the slow motion of eons. Ross explains that he has been walking the quarries since 1993, and that he went there to experience the quiet strangeness and to look intently at the scale, line, color, planes, and the drama of light on the cut marble and granite.

His 20-year quest to present these images represents a learning continuum for him; so, like most artists, he returned to his subject for repeated looks, adding new layers of expertise and insight to his photographs each time he went. The photos in this exhibit come from his work during the past four years.

Since 1993, photographic technology has transformed itself.  Now, he explains, his digital photographs contain an overwhelming amount of visual information; so much, in fact, that small prints would not reveal it.  To accommodate this craving for detail, the photographs are large.

However, in spite of their imposing size and the abundant visual data they present, Ross’s pieces frame the abstract essence of what he sees.  At times, looking into the quarry pieces, it is difficult to discern what is actually pictured.  Is it a wall of stone, or a reflection?  Or both?  Which way is up, which down?   How can such an angular place be crossed by a languorous curve?

Ross’s photographs leave the viewer with a quandary to contemplate:  the juxtaposition of profuse exhaustive information and of pure sensory impact.  

Visit the Downtown Gallery in the Center Street Alley (between the Paramount Theater and the Sunapee Bank) in Rutland from 1-6 pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and 1-7 pm on Friday each week.
The Opening Reception with artist Don Ross will take place on Friday, May 31 from 6-8 pm.

Read more about the Downtown Gallery: 

Read more about Don Ross: