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"Portals of Perception"

by Shannon McSwiney
Marketing Manager, Newland Communities


How fortunate we are to have been introduced to artist, Ellen Giamportone. Admired and befriended by one of our resident's, Ellen is an absolute delight and full of fantastic "layers" of experience, that as you engage in conversation with her are revealed gradually and mysteriously. She recently took the time to let us into her thoughts and what inspires her work, which will be on display May 14th - July 31st at the Briar Chapel information center. Take a moment to learn more about her below as written in her own words.


Visual stimulation is my obsession. Luckily, it doesn't take much to "click" in, so to speak. Just staying present in the moment as I look around, absorbing the simplicity of the light, the shadows, the reflections play between objects, all the manifestation of this world we live in...What a play! What a joy. I'm so glad cameras were invented.


No one sees things exactly the same as another. If you put 10 reasonably creative people with cameras in the same situation I suspect you'll get 10 different photographs. Not only that, but someone else looking at those photographs then interprets what we have seen in their unique way. Pretty cool on one hand, because all we can do is what we do, then put it out there for others to see in it what they will. However, as an artist, we have many options to create a portal or path for an observer to follow into our own special world of visual delights. I find there are times I have a specific intention for a photo, and want to make a particular statement. Sometimes it's more image seems to make its self intuitively, the outside beckoning me from within; a feeling sparking pure consciousness into being, connecting perfectly into a form in the confines of the camera's window frame. Those are magic times; I think that's what keeps many of us clinging to our cameras.


I love when life offers little surprises and shifts to encounter and make us slow down for an instant......May they all be enjoyable and uplifting, and may we have our camera in hand.


I don't know about how other artists find their connections and similarities of the way they look at things, or come up with variations on a theme or subject, but for me, over the years of shooting, threads of ideas continue to show themselves, sometimes dormant over a period of months or years, only to surface again and again in a slightly different way, informed by a maturing or shift of consciousness on my part.


I really like when situations seem to create themselves as I go about my daily life. For periods of time, almost each day I shoot at least a frame or more as I move through my day and night. The Canon G10 is always at a gunslinger always has his pistol on his hip. It's a weird analogy, perhaps, but I've discovered that sometimes it's like that...the constant practicing...the quick draw when it comes to instantaneous people shots that happen when I'm out and about, sitting in a cafe, on the road, wherever. Then there's the other practicing,....the inanimate stuff of life that shows up, or makes itself known if you remember to keep your mind quiet, your eyes new and alert. That becomes what I think of as "sketching". These kinds of studies are fun, playful, and often quite satisfying. These kinds of images may not directly inform my "serious" work but they consistently go the distance for me, filling my heart with the joy of wandering in the boundless realm of creativity.


It is with great respect and love I bow to those laughing photo gods who occasionally offer up to us mere photo-image-hunting-mortals the magical combination of time and space co-incidence that produce a perfect situation towards which to aim a camera.


From a poem:Deep Muck Cultural Concerns

Artists rehash history, reinvent conceptual redundancy
then beat themselves to death for not communicating
their deepest struggle for transformation and ascension .

How many can break thru barriers of their own forgotten making
into realms of the invisible, unspeakable fullness?

Some actions take the courage of outrage
Some, the strength of a whisper
Whatever the form, faith is the master.

Some true mad souls keep reaching
Thru the quicksand's of culture.
Not clinging to the seeking,
they struggle.
Not clinging to the struggle,
they seek.

~Ellen Giamportone


More and more I'm noticing the way moments and experiences seem to have a lovely connectedness or flow to them. This seems to be the outcome of watching life on earth more as an ever mysterious, wondrous dance...


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