Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review of Kim Hosey Photographic exhibit in Visitor Center Gallery

During the months of July and August, blogger and photographer, Kim Hosey, features candid images of 50 insects, spiders, and birds -- all objects of her affection.  Her photographs allow the unique personality of each subject to emerge, caught by her camera lens in the moment of expression.  An elegant, iridescent dragonfly strikes a ballet pose, a Great Blue Heron tiptoes through ankle-deep water, a Jerusalem cricket seems literate-for-a-day as it strolls across the page of an open book.

Many of her photographs are really portraits, lending themselves to a deeper character study of each subject. Insects appear to be aware of her camera and regard it with sidelong glances, birds fly in choreographed symmetry above her head, and a black widow strikes a film noir pose atop a perfectly contrasting white surface.

This collection of images brings up the inevitable proclivity towards personification, forcing one to think, Am I really seeing their emotions, or my own? And then: Is this the way they are, or the way I want them to be?

But over analysis will miss much of the impact because, even at face value, Kim’s images are stunningly beautiful. More importantly, they honor the amazing complexity and diversity of the non-humans that are forever buzzing, swooping, crawling, and capturing our attention. Her photographs impart an intimate side to their lives that we, as casual observers, rarely notice. With close-up, macro photography, her subjects are caught in the act of being themselves, and therefore display a surprising range of emotions that we can't help but relate to: sometimes quirky, or ironic, or a bit scary, but always honest.

Had Gary Larson born a love child, it might have been Kim Hosey -- she, however, has brought her critters to life without a single line of dialogue.  
(Reviewed by Kim Stone)