This body of work represents a metaphorical journey of my advancement through Three Chapters Of Illumination; burden, enlightenment, and liberty. Throughout the series, I used the image and representation of the wolf to symbolize fear and the girl to signify mankind.
In Chapter One, fearfulness establishes an internal anxiety, a captivity of sort, which evokes feelings of hopelessness. There entangled, is an existence of wandering of being misguided by unwise choices. Howling in despair at never breaking through the barricade, it is as though one is always against the wall. Gravity’s power manifests in materialism and things of this world and it seems as if loneliness and desolation is the destiny of the grave.
Chapter Two reveals the opportunity for change. Coaxed by the messenger the truth is unearthed in the form of knowledge, the basis for all illumination… just trusting this wisdom moves one forward into the third and final chapter.
As confidence and trust is gained, power embraced, and victory unwrapped, the wolf remains. Now, with the authority of the truth as a weapon, he is controlled and powerless. It is in this power and the promise of it that one becomes fire proofed with freedom. Joy and purpose give rise to inspiration. This inspiration, infused with passion, participates in loving obedience and the gifts of truth. These now are shared others. As spiritual strength is gained through this journey, it is, in the end, the wolf that retreats. There is joyful liberty in a souls progress to freedom!
I’m visual artist who melds pixels, paper, and paint to create photographic fusions that celebrate my native Louisiana as well as people and places that move me. In an effort to create images that reflect a sense of nostalgia, I blend Photoshop techniques with oils, glazes, and waxes to create texture and depth. I meld pixels, paper and paint to create photographic fusions, I make an attempt to portray the role of inspirational storyteller through imagery, and look for ways to satisfy my vintage eye in the camera, in the computer, in the printing, and in the paint.
53 thoughts on “Ann George – The Three Chapters of Illumination: God Calling”
Although at some point it feels a little bit repetitive to me, overall I find it an excellent piece of work.
I’m a 4×5 film straight shooter and certainly not a fan of melding “pixels, paper, and paint to create photographic fusions”, but the result here is so good and conveys your artist statement so well, that I just have to like it :)
She evokes the ethereal with a beauty that only the most poignant fotogs can capture.
Well done Ann.
Interesting artistically. The relationship to “photography,” though, is pretty tangential. While photos are certainly involved, they are only a piece of the illustration. This isn’t a criticism of the art, but a plea to leave photography alone and come up with another descriptive name for this kind of creation.
Of course, Burn has no obligation to showcase only photography, but its own statement of intent is as “an evolving journal for emerging photographers.”
oh Jim i get up in the morning, have my coffee, and come to work at Burn ONLY thinking about emerging photographers…of all ages….and a journal for the up and coming is exactly what we do here….we have not slipped one iota on this pledge and have increased the usefulness to emerging photographers many times over and in many ways since our beginning……no need to go down the list…you well know it…..
my assumption must be that any emerging photographer that i can imagine would be interested in all sorts of things…for one thing, their subject matter to shoot varies day by day as you well know…and i assume also that they can make the psychological/intellectual jump from one part of the photographic process to another and can most likely handle mixed media as well…this is clearly “photography” imo…without photography Ann does not have anything…and she uses other media as well and very well…i think this falls well into the category of “photography” as long as any part of the broad photographic process is used…
frankly, any new photographer not appreciating a wide variety of presentations of our craft , would honestly not be an emerging photographer in whom i would tend to be involved or have much interest…
narrow minded “emerging photographers” are not for me emerging photographers …every photographer i know of repute only does one or two things, but is interested in many things….
of course my friend any ideas you may have for increasing the benefits of Burn to the young and the young at heart will be taken to heart…….
while providing an international venue and some funding and some education and some portfolio reviews and some mentoring towards completed projects and some book/magazine print publishing have been our main functions so far, we are up for any other things whereby we can be helpful to those to seek to create a “photographic life”…
as always, thank you for your time and your participation on this forum….a Jim Powers comment never goes unread
Story telling, art, photography: what a wonderful combination when all three intersect. Burn will be Burn at it’s best when work like this pops up. Thank you Harvey, thank you Ann.
Somehow it reminds me / I
Feel the mystique of Tarot Cards!!!
Super Fantastic! I wish I was bob black on this one..
Jeanne D’Arc , Tarot, chess, medieval times, John the baptist, roger ballen, Imants ,
Edgar Allan Poe ( quoth the raven nevermore ) and all that come in my mind..it’s 6:56am here,
Everyone asleep , Lola ( the dawg) wants to go potty but I’m stuck in bed , checking the essay on the phone trying to figure out if I’m still dreaming!
Weird ( in a nice manner ) way to start the day!
Little Red Riding Hood grows up, but doesn’t leave the tale…
Can’t do anything with the captions or the text.
I love the look, the aged look, vintage patina. Dark stuff down in here, there’s probably a lot more than meets the eye. Kind of reminds me of Keith Carter’s work…
Very well visually, but something is missing for me. It hard for me to call it art, more illustration. I see lack of the “Thing” under the visual package.
But visually is masterpiece. And sometimes it is all needed.
As a viewer I find nothing wrong with this essay at all knowing it’s worked in digital I don’t care. Now if I was the artist involved I personally would try an antique process like collidion or whatever- not because it’s better but because of the process of surprise and dancing with uncertainty with something like collidion which also of course gives a vintage and ethereal look.
But of course my thoughts are more about technique and has little to do emotion and mystery which this essay is full of.
Ann, great technique, you have created a signature look and style for yourself that suits the subject matter very well indeed. Congratulations on being published here.
i’m feeling the moon too…..
have to look again…
lots of layers in a single image…
are you using encaustic?
it has that feel to me…..
women who run with the wolves…….
Very interesting and very well executed work. Overall a very “retro-Victorian” sensibility, and whether the echoes are conscious or not, there are implicit references to John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” William Blake, the Pre-Raphaelites, and yes the Tarot, among many others! And a number of Victorian photographers whose names escape me at the moment, who constructed apocryphal images of angels with wings, dying children whose souls were ascending to heaven, etc.
There is, as Marcin indicates, a certain “illustration” quality to these, but I personally have never shared the prejudice common in the art world that illustration is somehow a lower form than “real art.” In America, some of our greatest artists were primarily illustrators… Frederick Remington, Charles Russell, John Sloan, N.C. Wyeth, James Montgomery Flagg, Artzybasheff.
As for the mixing of media, I think this is a wonderfully successful example. Bravo, Ann.
David, all I’m saying is that photography should be “something” different from other things. If there isn’t a clear separation between “photography” and other forms of art, then photography disappears into a kind of pan-everythingism and ultimately becomes something else. And it’s photography I’m interested in.
I really like these illustrations. I think the artist is very talented. I just don’t see them as photography.
great work! I really like the techinque even though it cannot be fully appreciated on my computer screen.
I find that “contaminating” photographs with ink and via photoshop gives and a unique dimension, and this is an excellent example.
Yes, I too have the feeling that these images really need to be seen in the original, large, and on the wall for us to really appreciate them… obviously we are only getting a bare hint of their textural qualities.
Nancy , Sidney,
i agree ..,(bare hint of their textural qualities)
There is a soul in this work. Personally I like the mix of different media, what is important at the end is the final “image”, not so much how this has been created. Of course this is only my point of view. And N° 3, 12 and 14 are really great!
This would have resonated very strongly with me around the age of 15, around the time I bought an entire portfolio of reproductions of Lewis Carroll’s photographs work. They moved and shaped me as a photographer in a way I’ve yet to pinpoint, especially the ones of Alice Liddell such as http://libweb2.princeton.edu/rbsc2/portfolio/lc2/fi/00000014.htm and http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person.php?LinkID=mp63189 I can see these images here by Ann having a strong effect on the subconscious of some viewers.
ok, well many thanks for clarifying…and i do understand of course what you mean…i just do not think we have violated our emerging photographer credo by publishing this “photography derived” package…that is all that i was saying…but yes, if i were publishing a whole book of this, and not just in the mix with our daily all photography work here, i am sure i would call it photo-illustration or photo derivative or something similar…Ann uses “fusions” which is apt i think
Lewis Carrol was studio photographer who loved photographing little girls sadly in this day and age he would have been ruled as a paedophile, manipulated by the gutter press just as Bill Henson was see the press release here http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/31646.html
This is the work of a fantasy image manipulator…….. Lewis left that to his books.
If you go here to the BBC podcasts and scroll down, there’s interesting discussion on Lewis Carrol.
Absolutely .. Agree
In USA as of today , Carrol would be in death row awaiting lethal injection :(
In USA as of today , Carrol would be in death row awaiting lethal injection :(
(registered as a child molester blah blah blah etc:((
Sadly “we” have a lot of issues over “here”:(
In the land of the Brave and the land of the Free- free to jail anyone we don’t like- that is
The press release was a response to the gutter press I worded it badly ….
Yes I know I know Oscar Wilde had a bad bad experience in England too! But but but that was couple hundred years ago:(
Anyone heard of the Memphis Three???
I agree that these images here are female child/teenager fantasy which also has its male version in computer games. In a visual arts education context it would be seen as mixed media and one would clarify the relationship between painting, photography and wet plate printing
In the late 19th century early 20th century this type of work was very much the domain of male artists there are still some pockets of male photographers who work in this vein though few use naked or scantily clad little girls and boys for obvious reasons.
Lovely stuff, I’d love to see prints on a beautiful matte paper stock. I must spend more time with this.
The Alice discussion reminds me of a spectacularly beautiful book from the seventies by Japanese photographer Sawatari. This book would never be published or seen in the west. A photographer friend of mine has s copy that was gifted to him by a friend who was travelling in Japan at the time. I see that it sells for big bucks now.
Anyway, congratulations Ann, great to see this here.
Let’s not forget Jock Sturges who’s work has been accused and condemned by many as thinly disguised underage pornography hiding behind the excuse of fine art.
Thanks for that link. That site has a myriad of vintage Japanese photo books such as the ones Bob Black and I were talking about a while back… if you go through a bunch (the site is very generous with page illustrations from the books), not only will you see a pretty broad cross section of what was going on in Japanese photography in those days, but also a number with photos that would be considered well over the “danger line” in North America today.
Panos, you need to travel a bit, if you think “having issues here” is the worse one can encounter as an artist (and some) in this world… ;-)
I do agree with marcin, it is very much akin to illustration, and after all, this is not at all a pejorative statement. Though totally unrelated in subject and obsessions, I am also reminded of J.P. Witkin (who must be nearing the exhaustion of his stays of execution if i follow Panos….).
The imagery being quite, to be short, archetypal (medievalism, animal symbolism, masks, suffused virginality, etc…), one may find it hard to stick to Ann’s own sense of what she senses and puts in it, and rather tempted to fly with it with our own associations.
I find it wonderful that the extent of essays featured on BURN go from this to the superb and “only photographed” imagery of Kyunghee, and all that is in between.
“Art” even in definition is something “not obvious”.
let us not also forget, and Jock Sturges himself told me this , that when the FBI raided his studio, it made him famous….quadrupled his prints prices….they did not get his good work…and his lovely wife and daughters applauded all the way to the bank!!
and Sally Mann!! same thing…when she was denounced by the Governor of Virginia for her “pornography” of children (her own children) she also took this to the bank….
neither of these fine fine artists tried to create this “publicity” but both smile ruefully when talking about it….and both talked to each other and gave each other support when it was happening…
what you want Paul is a bit of controversy, without actually ending up behind bars!! :)
Imagery and commentary all very intriguing. I find myself being sympathetic to Jim Powers view here.
Sorry. Missed the apostrophe. Meant “Jim Power’s”. I dislike punctuational errors.
Not at all my cup of tea but I’m really glad it’s here. Once again BURN shows it takes all kinds!
Beautiful work! Congratulations!
When I read the title, I immediately thought of the concerto format; three chapters, three movements. Differing tempos and repeating motifs. By co-incidence, David just a few days ago mentioned the problem of “similars”, where too many images of the same nature may create problems in the essay structure, and the story effectiveness.
Initially I was aware of how imponderable and difficult this essay was to “read”, because not only do the motifs repeat themselves, but there is very little if any change in the tempo between chapters. Normally in a concerto, there is one, but not the other. In a concerto, there is usually the solo instrument; here there is an equal balance between the wolf and the woman. For the most part, the camera is the same distance away from the subjects. Everything here gets equal billing, repeatedly, with very little change.
In the concerto construction there are general rules of structure. They can be reworked; there needn’t be three movements; the tempos don’t always have to change; sometimes the orchestra actually becomes the soloist. But even though the guidelines can be tailored to taste, the listener’s interest is held by the use of dynamic divergence between these guidelines. Some, at the very least one, of the guidelines have to be adhered to in order to carry the viewer/listener into the story. There has to be some sort of dissimilarity. But Ann does none of that. It is as if she broke every story-telling device known, or rejected them all.
So, in order to give us a photo-essay we can understand, we are read to by Ann herself in her artist statement. Almost frame by frame, we are led; even the chapters are outlined. For some of us this is a no-no; this has been discussed plenty. But, when Herve wrote “one may find it hard to stick to Ann’s own sense of what she senses and puts in it, and rather tempted to fly with it with our own associations”, it is made clear to me. By filling the essay with layer after layer of “similars”, to the point where a full explanation is required, Ann collapses the story structure into some sort of singularity in which we lose ourselves, forcing or freeing us to develop our own associations, or interpretations. Developing our own illumination.
Thanks, Ann. Thanks, Herve.
“But, when Herve wrote “one may find it hard to stick to Ann’s own sense of what she senses and puts in it, and rather tempted to fly with it with our own associations”, it is made clear to me.”
I agree with Herve on this. This essay seemed to me a conceptualization of early Heidegger’s idea of Being-toward-death, and I can’t find in the essay the artist’s own explanation through her statement, despite the symbolism she explains. If the idea was to convey a specific meaning to the work (the one set forth in the artist’s statement), for me at least, the work failed.
It’s certainly very well-executed, beautiful work. Congratulations on the excellent realization of your intention. My concern is that it seems that I’ve seen this many times before. The visual exploration of Freud’s subconscious, Jung’s archetypes, and fairy tales with more than a hint of Little Red Riding Hood. But no doubt due to the deep psychological resonance of these images, there’s always an audience for more. This succeeds very well in those terms.
Regarding what’s presented on burn, although I obviously don’t like every single thing that’s ever been published, I’ve rarely been critical of the fact that anything has actually been published — with the very rare exception of some work I thought overly propagandistic or plagiarized. And I’m not starting now. I enjoy the magazine. But I can’t help note there seems, at least to me, a small trend towards more art directed work of late, and a larger trend towards slicker, more accomplished photographers. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen anything of questionable technical quality. Although I was appalled by the old out-of-focus cat in the center of the frame pic when it appeared, I now find that kind of thing has a nostalgic charm.
“My concern is that it seems that I’ve seen this many times before. The visual exploration of Freud’s subconscious, Jung’s archetypes, and fairy tales with more than a hint of Little Red Riding Hood. But no doubt due to the deep psychological resonance of these images, there’s always an audience for more. This succeeds very well in those terms.”
I’ve been thinking this since the first time I saw the essay, Michael just wrote it down much better than I could have.
I love that this got published here, and congrats to Ann for that, but it just doesn’t speak to me. That’s not really a criticism of the set, but may be a criticism of me.
Well, I liked it in a Victorians meet Meatyard sort of way.
It seems to me that I have seen it all before, too, but I don’t care. We have all seen pretty much everything before. It’s an intriguing essay, and it was posted when I thought I might well be dying. Truly, I did. So I looked at and wondered if I might soon be seeing some of these characters pretty, as I passed through the veil. But it turned out I am not dying afterall, but only have shingles. A brutal and painful thing, but not a fatal thing – nothing that will send one through the veil, and something that will ease off in time.
Anyway, I liked it.
But I tend to like all the essays here. I am a lousy critic.
Agree with Panos on this one. Metaphysically and photographically brilliant. Ann George is lifting the veil to remind of us of our true selves.
love it… definitely photography. Can’t wait to see it in person at PhotoNOLA!
AKAKY IRL; Not much, is it?
AKAKY IRL: Sort of like being Miss Zucchini Festival of 1987.
AKAKY: That’s about the size of it.
I love the feedback from everyone here. I am pleased that this work has made you thinkers and not just “see”-ers. I am just a girl with a camera (among other stuff) and a story I want to tell and in a way that I am guided to tell it. I do straight pure “unadulterated” photography as well. You can see some of it on my website. http://www.anngeorgephotography.com. However, in order for my storytelling images to please me they have to have depth. Not only just in metaphorical terms, but in a textural and tonality sense as well. In a way, I am hoping to take you into them.
I am a photographer. I am an artist. See? Everybody wins! I don’t care about the camera or the process. They are just tools I use. To me, that means I envision something, and I use the camera to do something about it. I know how I want it to look and I use the other media to create it if needed – to perfect it. I try to make humble attempts to take something you cannot hear, touch, or feel and make it so. In essence, I sense the images like a dog with a bone. I gnaw at them and use different tools until they speak to me and hopefully to you. I think I can be best described as a photographic artist.
In the series, I used the mask and the wolf to represent fear and our ability to overcome it. After all, fear is our biggest enemy and what I believe holds us captive in every aspect of life. From child rearing, relationships, health, finance, security, even photography! The list is endless. Learning how to become fearless is what set me free to experience joy in the mist of the muck of life. I can continue to tell you what I had in mind when I created this work but that is not what I believe is important. Rather, what is it that you see? How do they make you feel? Do they make you think?
I so enjoyed all the references made to the great illustrators, writers and photographers. It tells me that I may be on the right track. I am of the belief that everything has been done before. It is how it can be done in a different way that I am after. I think the commonality lies in our search to describe in tangible terms something we feel.
I am particularly interested in Jeff’s comment related to the concerto format. Point well taken and am intrigued to perfect the project with this in mind. I know little of music structure but your comments have inspired me to learn more and incorporate this concept in my work. After all music makes us feel.
I am the epitome of “emerging”. David’s mission found its mark. I have only been working in fine art seriously for a little over a year. I may be a newbie but I am I am no spring chicken either. I have had another life and career as a nurse before fine art photography found me. I am raising 4 teenage boys, have 3 dogs and 2 cats. I am not all about my work and create it only because I feel compelled to do so and it pleases me. I am FREE to accept gladly all forms of criticism and advice and ideas! I mostly like the connections and dialog that it has provoked and friends I have made who share the same passion for photography I do. For me that is the most rewarding reason for my work.
Paul, feel free to punctuate away. I stink at it!
And to Panos..Let Lola, the dawg, potty please…
As a thought inspired by the interesting exchanges between Jim Powers and David Alan Harvey on November 7th, I would like to offer a few of my thoughts.
As a photography instructor, my very first question to students in the Intro Photography course is always “What is Photography?”. No one ever gets the answer I am looking for. Photography, when defined, is light-writing. Aspiring photographers need to understand that what they are doing is writing a story with images written by light to convey will relate to the viewer in a specific way. Ann was one of those students who fully understand this concept.
A snapshot will tell a short story of a few words, who or what, etc.. A picture will tell a story of more words, and include some creativity or artistry worth more words. But a photograph tells a story that is much more; it speaks a thousand words to the viewer, and when joined with other similar images, speaks volumes. Photography has to start in the mind’s eye of the photographer. The more creative the mind of the writer, the more interesting the story will be to the viewer (reader).
I am very proud Ann and her works, and am really happy she is stirring the minds of others interested in visual stories. Subject matter and story lines differ, but the concept of a quality story is always the same.
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