Kerrytown Concert House showcasing compelling photography of John Lilley
“Simply put,” says Lilley in his artist’s statement, “I make photographs because I see photographs. In my process of exploration, I experience the finding of an image as an emotional event; recognition comes in the form of a deeply satisfying feeling of discovery.
“However, I’m rarely attracted to the ‘big picture.’ Rather, my vision is almost unconsciously drawn to distinct designs, textures, and forms that occur as small subsets of the broader landscape. I’m fascinated by the myriad possibilities for abstract composition that exist in our world.”
Yet some of the most powerful artworks in this superior exhibit aren’t “small subsets of the broader landscape”—at least, not in the conventional sense. Rather, Lilley balances his penchant for detail with exhilaration for color, and this joyous twofold sensibility guides his aesthetic. His eye focuses on the essence.
The result is art photography both sharp and playful, because Lilley likes to craft imagery that appears abstract until its context can be discerned.
Some of Lilley’s work—for example, the stunning “Red Leaves, Yellow Rock Wall”—feature a colorful internal complexity. This striking photograph of a weathered wall with vines and red flowers creates a mini-drama set in solitude.
“White Sands, No.1,” on the other hand, finds Lilley paring down his digital palette until the contrast between light and dark creates an insistent rhythm. No more than a photograph of shifting sand whose striated bands of light and shadow alternate diagonally across the photograph’s working surface, “White Sands, No. 1” heroically relies on a few tufts of grass to accent the composition.
“John Lilley Photographs” will continue through June 1 at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth St. Exhibit hours 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For information, call 734-769-2999.