Photographer Kevin Bruce Parent will present in his first solo show new pinhole camera photographs in a show entitled “Sans Lens” at Corrigan Gallery from May 3 through May 30. An opening reception will be held on May 7 from 5 to 8 PM as part of the French Quarter Gallery Association May artwalk. The gallery is located at 62 Queen Street in downtown Charleston.
Kevin Bruce Parent is a self-taught photographer who has been shooting since 1990. Moving to Charleston in 1997 from New Hampshire, he elected to present in his work what strikes him as southern. Utilizing pinhole cameras, zone plates and the lith printing process, Parent creates painterly images. The South he sees is moved to another level through the pinhole and the darkroom experience. He says, “I find it odd and a bit perplexing that anyone would entrust creative decision making to machines instead of using their deeply felt and often ignored intuition. I want to avoid mechanized recordings that verge on the cliché. It is my wish for the viewers of my work to slow down and contemplate not only what they are looking at, but to slow down in the haste of their daily lives. The world is moving much too fast and we need to gain a little perspective on just how fast things pass us by.” This last realization came to him after a life altering experience. The images in this show were made with great purpose and great patience. “As Sally Mann says of making this type of art, this is not drive by shooting. This is deliberate, methodical stuff.”
“Sans Lens” will contain images of the local landscape as well as surfers on the beach. Most of the images have a nice quiet feel to them, perhaps a touch of loneliness or longing. A few will be hand-colored, some straight silver gelatin and others lith prints. Parent’s work tends to be soft, intriguing – subtle presentations of the world around us. The use of a camera without a lens, the opening through which light travels to the film or paper being only a pinhole, lends a different look to the work – both a look of something from the past and that of a carefully crafted work of art. Often making his own pinhole cameras, the almost exclusive use of these over twenty years has allowed Parent to not only hone the practice of shooting but to learn to use to artistic advantage the vagaries of pinhole camera images married to the fluctuations in the prints created by the lith chemical process of printing. With small editions, archivally framed, Parent presents very special insights into this sense we call “southern.”
Parent received an honorable mention in the 2005 Piccolo Spoleto Juried Art Exhibition and showed in the Black and honorable White, Graphic Work in the South, 1904-2004 at Carolina Galleries in March 2004 as well as a group photography show here in 2006 entitled Light Writing and a two man show “Southern Remains” in 2008.
Corrigan Gallery, now in its fifth year, is a culmination of 22 years of experience in the Charleston art market. The gallery represents more than a dozen artists in an intimate space and presents 6 to 10 shows per year with the gallery being refreshed every month. Parent has been with the gallery since its inception. Other gallery artists are Manning Williams, Duke Hagerty, Mary Walker, Kristi Ryba, Sue Simons Wallace, Gordon Nicholson, John Moore, Lese Corrigan, Paul Mardikian and John Hull. Visiting artists are included in the yearly roster with most of the artist being either Charleston natives or individuals living in Charleston. A gallery of contemporary works exploring the depth and intellect behind the drive to create, Corrigan Gallery provides a breathing space around the historic city’s traditional bent. Open six days a week and other times by appointment, the gallery can be viewed 24 hours a day at
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