Opening Reception: Friday, September 8 from 6pm to 9pm
Meet the Artist Saturdays from 2pm to 4pm.
One cannot return from an African safari unaffected. Lions, proud and free, prowl your memory. Great herds of grazing zebra and wildebeest wander across the horizon of your mind’s eye. Parades of elephants leave imprints of awesome power and size while stirring your heart with gentle nurturing behaviors.
Carol Leadbetter’s photographs are a testament to what we may lose. Some images convey a sense of intimacy between the viewer and the subject. In others, a single animal is isolated against the great skies and plains, its weight challenging the grandeur of the land.
Images in this exhibit are printed by the artist applying a variety of alternative photographic processes and surfaces. Handmade papers are utilized to reflect the divergent textures and colors of the land as well as Mapepa elephant dung paper believed to incorporate the spirit of the animal. Through her vision and creativity, Carol Leadbetter presents her photography in a new artistic art form.
Carol L. Leadbetter Artist Statement
An Impending Silence: Vanishing African Wildlife A Pictorial Tribute to Those Struggling to Survive is a project very dear to my heart. Having had the opportunity to travel to East and South Africa over the years, it is dismaying every time I read another story about the dwindling wildlife. Those that survive face an ongoing struggle against the intrusion of man into their world. The fact that an elephant is killed for its tusks every 15 minutes, that the number of rhinos is down to 5000 in all of Africa or that the giraffe is now on the endangered list motivated me to use images that I have taken over the years to create my pictorial tribute to these noble animals.
Wildlife photography is a powerful tool with the endpoint offering a depiction of the reality of the moment. However, to the artist such an image can also represent a new starting point from which to bring forth different features and create a fresh visual impact. While the images in this collection are true “in the wild” photographic captures of the subjects, my creative process has focused on such qualities as color, tone, texture, pattern, and form. The result is designed to convey the animal’s essential being, that impacts and evokes a response from the viewer.
I use handmade papers, the textures of which work in harmony with the image. To assure the high quality and durability of the images, each of the handmade papers is coated with inkAID, a coating which renders the papers receptive to inkjet printing. There are many different types of inkAID and each of these reacts differently with different substrates. After much trial and error, the inkAID white matte was found to give the desired result. Each of the images is then protected with a special varnish to assure longevity. These images are testament to what we may one day lose not only in Nature, but in ourselves.
As renowned primatologist Jane Goodall has said, “We still have a long way to go. But we are moving in the right direction. If only we can overcome cruelty, to human and animal, with love and compassion we shall stand at the threshold of a new era in human moral and spiritual evolution—and realize, at last, our most unique quality: humanity.”
- Tuesday – Saturday: noon to 6pm
Waverly Street Gallery is located at 4600 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD. For more information, visit waverlystreetgallery.com.