Sep 11, 2011

The American Midwest - photographs and drawings


The last Saturday of the Art Trail started with a dose of Americana at Duncan Holmes's exhibition of photographs and drawings made during summer and winter visits to Indiana and Illinois. The images give a sense of everyday life in this vast region, with its charming old clapboard houses, red barns and farmhouses surrounded by wide open space for miles around. Duncan has included an image of Chicago's famous skyscrapers, tall and thin and packed close together, in contrast with the more isolated houses in the towns and countryside. 

One wall shows a selection of photographs taken in the icy cold winter, with thick snow covering the area. The clear blue gives the photographs a cool tone and a layer of snow sits on the trees but a man goes out jogging in a luminous jacket and the roads have been cleared. This series of photographs contrasts with the warmth of the brightly decorated house with a cheery waving snowman outside.

These photographs have inspired drawings and innovative collages done from memory and imagination, which Duncan describes as "a sort of idealised or iconic take on the same subject matter". It's great to see another response to what has been captured in the photographs. Road signs and the flag have been incorporated into some collages and one image shows a clapboard house that Duncan made out of twigs from a nearby tree that had been cut down.
With beautifully presented images dating back to 2002, there is plenty to see at this exhibition. If you would like to read more about how Duncan put it together, he has been blogging about it here.

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