‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

College Guide 2013: Nearly every college student has lived off of ramen noodles at one point or another. What a lot of them didn’t know was that the classic just-add-water... By Mary Caithn Scott 8/20/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

Mother Nature Fools Us in Southwest School Photography Exhibit

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Summer Arm

Photo: , License: N/A

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Winter Arm

A gloomy gray winter’s day is the perfect accompaniment for eco-artists Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison’s “Selections from the Counterpoint Series,” but don’t expect their rather bleak meditation on the interaction of humans, technology and nature to cheer you up. This grimly beautiful show of surreal, large-scale photographic images in somber, muted colors is suffused with an aching longing for a rejuvenated world.

In Winter Arm, a man peers down at scraggly, leafless, miniature trees sprouting on his forearm between his elbow and wrist. Bees buzz around pieces of honeycomb resting on his Spring Arm, while spindly Black-Eyed Susans and Tiger Lilies bloom on his Summer Arm, propped up with weird metal braces. Is nature on life-support?

Perhaps the clearest expression of the team’s environmental concerns, and the most shocking image in the exhibit, is Wound, a bare tree limb wrapped with a bandage, dripping blood into a drinking glass suspended from the branch by a piece of wire.

The ParkeHarrisons “construct” their images, often using themselves as models and utilizing painting, sculpture, theater and mime to stage scenes. During the 1990s, they constructed 64 images for The Architect’s Brother, which features Robert as an “Everyman” trying to save the depleted planet by himself, a Sisyphean task of cleaning up centuries of environmental ruin that’s foolish and far too late, but hinting at an all-too plausible future.

In The Architect’s Brother, the ParkeHarrisons worked with old-fashioned sepia-toned photographs, eschewing digital trickery, but when artifacts of the old, chemical film culture became harder to find, they embraced color and some computer manipulation of their images for the Counterpoint series. Shana has joined Robert’s Everyman as a model in these poetic images with colors inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite painters and the muted palette of the early 20th-century Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershoi.

While the ParkeHarrisons employ color and transparency film, scanning, limited Photoshop manipulation and Epson printing, they also hand paint with Golden acrylics on the photographic surface in careful layers, building up rich textures and adding depth. In The Alchemist, for example, the dark blue wall provides a dramatic background for Robert pulling at a tangle of wires like some failed wizard trying to re-energize the spiritual realm.

Overflow is hauntingly beautiful, but the photograph appears to have been taken in the aftermath of a tremendous flood, which has filled a house with water. You can see a man’s hand and arm in the debris-cluttered water soaking the house’s interior while through the window one small cloud floats over a flood-swollen river reminiscent of a John Constable painting.

Rootwall bears testimony to nature’s determination to survive. High up on a stain-splattered wall, a plant’s root ball sticks out with long tendrils trailing down to the floor sprouting small green leaves and red flowers. Bright blue liquid leaks from an overhead pipe in this scene that suggests an abandoned factory being reclaimed by the plant kingdom during the rusting of the Industrial Age.

Recently in Arts & Culture
  • SA Design Maven D’Ette Cole and the Topography of Junk D’Ette Cole has been an artist, interior designer, antiques dealer and even a pie. Simply put, she notices everything, and has built her career on... | 10/22/2014
  • Failure Is Not an Option: George Lopez returns to SA It is evident comedian George Lopez is still a little sensitive about the on-again, off-again relationship he’s had with television. Whatever the... | 10/22/2014
  • Free Will Astrology ARIES (March 21-April 19): The driest place on the planet is the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. It gets about a half-inch of rain per year. And yet in 2011, archaeologists discovered that it’s also home to a site containing the fossilized skeletons of nu | 10/22/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus