Today is the last day of my solo photography exhibit of “The Inner Silence…” at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas.
When you put yourself and your art out there for exhibition it always lends itself to for others to judge your art. I’ve been left speechless by the remarks from my friends regarding my photos – yes all of them positive. One of the best comments came from long-time friend Henry who is fondly called H-Y, “I was amazed and enlightened. What a great eye she has. What a heart. What a soul. What a spirit!!”
However, it’s the comments from strangers that truly left me humbled. I know art speaks to each of us in different ways and hearing comments from strangers on the quality of my work and images was awe-inspiring. One of the best overall comments I received was from a young girl stating, “My work is insane!”
What I noticed every time I was at the gallery was how people were actually reading the stories that I told and shared with each photograph. The stories reflect the intimacy of the photograph and reveal why the image is important. Of course, I got the one question all photographers hate, “What camera do you use?” When will people learn it’s not the camera that makes you a photographer. Seeing respect for my work as one photographer shared even though he wanted so desperately to take photos of my images told me he knew he couldn’t because that would be considered stealing and most certainly stealing my photographic eye.
My foremost thanks go to June for guiding me through this process of pulling together a show of this proportion. Her insights helped me design the show so the images correlated with each other. It was her perceptiveness that gave me the ability to see that a lot of my images reflect solitude and silence. Thus, the title of the show! I’m thankful for Robert who also gave me feedback on which images to choose. His artistic eye is one I greatly admire and respect on many levels.
Visiting with friends during the First Friday Art Trail (FFAT) on February 6th was wonderful. Thank you for your support and friendship. For those friends who saw the show either before or after FFAT – I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The one lady I’m ever grateful was able to see this show was the woman who has been like a mom to me for 20 years – Glenna. Taking her to the gallery and watching her pause, read, and smile at each photo was heartwarming and brought tears to my eyes. This 89-year old lady is still going strong and has been a rock for me all these years. Her comment of saying, “The next Ansel has arrived”, made me realize what she saw in my images was how she felt. Then she asked me the point-blank question “Did you take the key?” You have to understand if God had not put Glenna in my life I’d not be the person I am today. Of course, it meant the world to me that Barry read every single written word for each photograph.
As the show comes down, I will produce a book of the images and stories. Also, I’ll look to the future of creating more unique and awe-inspiring images. I’ll look towards expanding my travels and my experiences. While I consider myself a conservation photographer, trying to prove that unique places and wildlife should be protected and preserved, I will always look for compositions that reflect “The Inner Silence…” in all of all us.
Photographs – © Christena Stephens Photography