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To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour – William Blake
By Elin Spring
Where do you turn to find inner peace? I’m guessing, not the national news or social media. Many of us choose to roam outdoors, seeking nature’s intrinsic solace and drama. In a departure from her past projects featuring people, photographer Sage Sohier has canoed onto a New Hampshire pond and observed a wondrous universe in its ecosystem. Her entrancing series Immersed & Submerged is on view at Robert Klein Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston through March 13th, 2019.
Photographing a pond may be different for Sohier, but just like her other work, there is much more to her images than initially meets the eye. Visually and metaphorically, her scenes are breathtaking. They whisper with silky textures and sultry hues, trace lyrical patterns, and range in mood from languid to electric. Sohier layers momentary fluctuations in light and wind over the gentle oscillations of seasonal change, realizing nature’s magical ability to be simultaneously unique and universal, at once fleeting and timeless.
Like life itself, Sohier’s images originate with water. She visualizes an entire biome by portraying not only the water’s surface, but what lies above and below: the pond reflects billowing clouds overhead; water lilies, insects and even a basking frog create textural tension on its surface; and refractions of light underwater augment dimensionality, forming colorful, distorted patterns in the flora. The interplay is hypnotic, mysterious and revealing.
Sohier’s imagery defies a singular genre, seeming to fuse landscape (but without a horizon in sight), still-life (although motion and the living abound), and abstraction (even though the components are identifiable). Scale, too, plays delightful tricks on our perceptions. With generous 28”x 42” prints, most of Sohier’s scenes are rendered larger than life. The combination of outsized scale, absence of a horizon line and selective focus create perceptual abstractions that shift with one’s distance from the prints. At once aesthetic, visceral and metaphysical, Sohier’s photographs are rhapsodic, rewarding our sustained contemplation with the serene sensation of becoming Immersed & Submerged.
For hours, directions and more information about this exhibit, go to: https://www.robertkleingallery.com/