The Kentlands Mansion recently presented The Kentlands Flower Show, a photography exhibit featuring the Composite Fine Art Photographers. The group took inspiration from events such as the Philadelphia Flower Show and highlighted the trio’s works with a decidedly individual spin for each.
I was especially inspired by Marge Wasson, a prolific fine art photographer and president of the Art League of Germantown (ALOG), for her immediate and intimate shadings of flora and fauna. Wasson said, “The kinds of things I like to shoot are not the whole thing, but the components—things built on each other, relationships, similar to architecture.”
In their focus on minute facets of nature, Wasson’s photographs make the eye work to ponder what is being portrayed and how light and perspective affect the view. Her “Big Red” is a study in this—a dark center branching out from shades of black to red and into needles with buds. The photo was taken in a botanical garden conservatory against a glass ceiling. “Party Time” is similar with watercolor-like rays in shades of purple and mauve played through light. Wasson said it started out a grayish-green and bloomed with her exploration of colored filters.
A documentary photographer working association events in New York, then DC, Wasson explained that a camera was thrust at her one day at work where she was instructed to take pictures at a convention … and a photographer was born. Her brother was a photographer, and she admired his work enough to experiment on her own.
While traveling to Paris with her point and shoot camera, she began snapping pieces of the Eiffel Tower’s structure as she rode an elevator to the top. Once she was home and started developing the photos, she realized the power of the architectural pieces and how affected she was by their line and segments of the whole. “I was motivated to keep doing the weird stuff!” she said.
As her photographic skill progressed, her son told her to “stop talking and start doing” and presented her with a bigger camera. She found herself at ALOG’s spring show at BlackRock Center for the Arts in 2009, and one of the members talked to her about the group, how it encourages new artists in an environment where they do not feel judged or intimidated. She joined and has been president for 3.5 years.
She became acquainted with her partners in Composite Fine Art Photographers, Jaree Donnelly and Craig Higgins, through ALOG. “We inspire and push each other,” Donnelly said.
The recent Kentlands Mansion exhibit was arranged by color, and you could hear them play as you wandered section by section and saw different approaches and themes. “When we work together,” Donnelly revealed, “we really plan the show from the ground up. It’s not random. We plan additional events and workshops to complement the main show and try to create a whole package—an experience.”
Keep updated by visiting the Composite Fine Art Photographers Facebook page.