• 1.15.10

    Emily Nathan's Magisterial Gaze

    Curator Carol McCusker had a vision, put out a call for entry, and one thousand submissions flooded in from 200 artists. McCusker narrowed it down to forty five photographs that now form "New Directions 2010," showing currently at Wall Space Gallery. Emily Nathan's "Green Sea" epitomizes the premise of the "down and out" motif of the show.

    "Down and out" refers to the point of view of looking down from a high vantage point and out to a vanishing horizon that Albert Boime called a "Magisterial Gaze." Ms. McCusker hoped that "the photographs would show a variety of ways that 'down' and 'out' can be imaged; and the emotional liberation such points-of-view can have on our often confined and overly responsible psyches."

    During her travels, Emily Nathan shot "Green Sea" in Byron Bay, Australia.

    Explains Nathan, "In my travel images I have two main visual threads. In 'travel' images I usually describe a place by focusing on one detail from the traveler's perspective. I direct the viewer to see a place how I choose to see it (through the light on someone's face, a detail in a building, the color or texture of water in a given place). In 'turismo' images I usually frame up the travelers themselves- exploring how people relate to and visit within our communities and our natural world. "Green Sea" falls a bit in both areas, but ultimately it is a "turismo" image because the subject matter to me (as a surfer myself) is the surfers."

    Says McCusker of Nathan's "Green Sea," "[Emily Nathan's surfers] hold enough odd beauty in their familiarity... to make us see the extraordinary in common vistas."

    Concludes Nathan, "The ocean is not ours for taking so much as its ours to share and respect. Respect the ocean and your fellow surfers and then you can experience the divine."

    New Directions 2010 is showing now at Wall Space in Seattle, Washington. To view more of Emily Nathan's work, view her portfolio here.

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