Subscribe to Blog via Email
By Contributing Writer Suzanne Révy
In late August of 2011, hurricane Irene came roaring up the east coast and veered somewhat west as she passed over New England, which bore the brunt of her fury. The Connecticut River and several of its tributaries rose fifteen to twenty feet above flood stage in a matter of hours. As the waters receded, a fine silt was left on the foliage along the banks of the rivers, and Rachel Loischild noticed that the silt covered leaves looked as if they had been desaturated in Photoshop. Intrigued, she set up her 4”x 5” camera, and thus began an intuitively made series of pictures exploring aftermaths and mysterious events, both real or imagined, that leave an emotional residue on a landscape. She calls this series Not as of Yet, and it is currently on view in the Griffin Museum’s satellite gallery at The Greater Boston Stage Company in Stoneham, MA until October 31st, 2017.
Her show features ten large scale, atmospheric and lush color prints including After the Flood with its visual desaturation of the flora. Alongside it, an image called Hurricane Sandy depicts the destruction in a residential neighborhood with downed power lines, though one house miraculously still has the glow of small electric lights in the window (Feature Image). Not all the work depicts the consequences of devastating storms and floods. Portland OR, for example, beautifully displays recently pruned rose bushes and Mount Lebanon Cemetery with its bright plastic flowers among the steel grey of the headstones offers a view of the ultimate aftermath.
More disquieting are several exposures made at night. Wegmans Being Built shows the skeleton of a building rising behind a thin line of trees— one can only assume a thick forest once stood there – bathed in artificial light with streaks of red brake lights from invisibly passing cars in the foreground. Similarly, 3,700,000 Americans have reported being abducted by extraterrestrials depicts an empty park at night. There is a square building behind several trees with the glow of artificial light filtering through to suggest that strangers have visited. Also unsettling, Arnold Arboretum after the Blizzard and Bike Path by Night present nighttime visions of trees or their shadows – one in snow, the other in summer – that evoke the anxiety many women feel when walking alone at night. These silent landscapes are exquisite in their detail, yet haunting in their gloom.
For more information about this exhibit, go to: http://griffinmuseum.org/show/rachel-loischild-not-as-of-yet-stories-of-aftermath-and-the-unknown/
Feature Image: “Hurricane Sandy, Brookline, MA, 2012” (Detail) by Rachel Loischild (courtesy of the artist and Griffin Museum of Photography).
Suzanne Révy is a fine art photographer who creates visual diaries of her family’s life and is a Contributing Writer to What Will You Remember? Earning her BFA from the Pratt Institute and MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Révy has worked as Photography Editor at U.S. News & World Report and Yankee Magazine and has exhibited her work at museums and galleries throughout New England and in New York. Révy is currently on the faculty at the New England School of Photography and a Board Member of the Photographic Resource Center in Boston.