“These photographic mosaics are my way of making sense of and giving form to images captured in brief encounters with these ancient towns.” – Dobree Adams
When an artist shifts from one medium to another, it is always tempting to see elements of the first medium in the second, and often there is a foundation in such observations. In the work of Dobree Adams, we can see the pattern and textures of her weavings reoccur in her photographs, and as she often has chosen historical architecture as a subject for her camera, we might also connect the fundamentally earthy tones of her textile palette with the aged, dusty surfaces found in much of her photography.
That palette also runs to a spectrum of greens, and in Adam’s most recent work she juxtaposes images of ancient architectural forms with lush gardens and mazes, connecting and contrasting the mortality implicit in the modern occupation of structures built thousands of years ago with the verdant arrangements of shrubbery and garden design. The “photo mosaics” are drawn from sixteen towns in Umbria, Tuscany, and Le Marche.
“I captured strong yet intimate images, often weirdly dissimilar,” explains Adams, “gargoyles, fragments of stone work and frescos, colors, light patterns, and landscape jewels. These photographic mosaics are my way of making sense of and giving form to images captured in brief encounters with these ancient towns. The images in each mosaic, although from a single geographical location, may be from different places, different times, different materials, and are sometimes reproduced at different scales.”
“The energy or movement perceived in the mosaics works like the optical mixing of colors so important in impressionistic painting. Your eye is trying to make sense of the relationship between the images, perhaps trying to deal with that weirdness, looking for perspective or perhaps trying to argue whether a line is straight or crooked.”
Adams wants her compositions to communicate a sense of place through the subjective lens of her camera, as well as the unique and sometimes unorthodox juxtaposition of locations. There is an aspect of assembling a puzzle using pieces that aren’t a natural fit, yet there is an association that we only discover through the artist’s perspective; one we almost certainly won’t discover anywhere else.
Dobree Adams has been long recognized as a contemporary fiber artist. Most recently she has been creating felted landscapes using the FeltLoom in the University of Kentucky Fiber Studio. is also an accomplished photographer who began actively exhibiting her photographs with her woven work in 2003. She has had collaborative shows of her tapestries and photographs intertwined with the poems of her husband Jonathan Greene since 2009, including the Albrecht-Kemper Museum in Saint Joseph, Missouri, the Headley-Whitney in Lexington, and the Evansville Museum.
Her felted piece ‘Homage to Jasper Johns’ was included in the New Editions Gallery exhibition MIX IT UP. She is also in three current or upcoming exhibits:
Way of The Land: The Farm Story, an invitational exhibition designed to document the region’s agrarian culture, will run through October 22 at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
Italia Con Amore, a solo show and premiere exhibition of photographic mosaics from Umbria, Tuscany, and Le Marche will run September 22 through October 27 at Crafts(s) Gallery, as part of the 2017 Louisville Photo Biennial.
Lexington Camera Club: New Work, work by 32 members curated by Paul Paletti, will run October 6 through December 15 at the Lyric Theatre Gallery, Lexington.
Hometown: Frankfort, Kentucky
Education: BA, Mathematics, Wellesley College. Over 25 years in the scientific arena before becoming a full time artist/farmer; has studied at the Penland School of Craft & Santa Fe Photography Workshops
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.