“Openings” at Java Monkey

Openings“, my solo show at Java Monkey, was an incredible challenge but also incredibly rewarding.  Curating my own work was difficult because not only do I have personal favorites, but I also have pieces I’m less fond of, yet I know others will respond to them.  It’s also difficult because you want to include everything, but you also have to consider the limitations of the space.  Thankfully a professor and other artists acted as soundboards, helping me create the show.  I’m ecstatic about how the show came together.  Not only has it re-energized my excitement for photography, but the public has responded to it well. Both my friends and Java Monkey patrons have interacted positively with the work.

The show will be up until the end of November, so if you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out!

Below are some photos of the show and my artist statement.

“Openings” is about mysterious, ephemeral moments.  I took these photographs on two separate mornings in geothermal areas around Rotorua, New Zealand.  No one photo was the same, even if I held the camera in the same place.  Every moment the earth was changing as smoke from the thermal vents rose and moved with the wind.  These two mornings left me with a profound respect for the power and fluidity of the earth.  It is an experience I will never forget.  In spite of understanding the science of thermal vents, I was captivated by the escaping smoke, and tried to convey that feeling of mystery in my photographs.

Ellie Spresser


2 thoughts on ““Openings” at Java Monkey

  1. I was impressed at how these photographs were curated in this space–the work at java monkey doesn’t always have such presence. I also want to mention that independent shows like this are impressive when you can pull them off–so much goes into them! Procuing the space, getting it on the schedule, figuring out the work to put in, framing, hanging, organizing an opening (which I’m sorry I missed!), making invitations, figuring out a mailing list, pricing, keeping everyone happy–NOT TO MENTION MAKING THE WORK! These images had special resonance for me because they were all taken in New Zealand on a trip I helped organize, by a very wonderful student I have been lucky enough to teach! It’s exciting for me to see this happen, because it shows terrific motivation and independent thinking. I had zero to do with this show! I also just want to mention that this reflects well on the school–at my last physical exam the medical student who was working with my doctor said she knew Agnes Scott from a show she just saw there–and it was Ellie’s work!

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