Ron van Dongen is up to capturing earth’s laughter in flowers. And in the process he continues to create photographic pieces that transcend the ephemeral nature of time. To be fair to him, it is not only the floral essays that he keeps himself busy penning. But, his portrayals of human form and even canine species are equally impactful. Largely monochromatic, his work embraces the subtleties of nature and features them meticulously on photographic canvas.
Ron van Dongen spent time across various time zones during different phases of his life. He was born in Judibana, Venezuela, 1961. He spent his early childhood in Warmond, The Netherlands. Perhaps, it is self-explanatory from where his intimacy with the floral world originated. Ron completed studies from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Ron van Dongen can truly say, ‘I know that if odour were visible as colour is, I’d see the summer garden aureoled in rainbow clouds.’
For nearly two decades Jason Christensen is capering about the glens and crevices of Utah and beyond with a 4x5 film camera in hand; for nearly twenty years he is scanning the reflections on the sparkling water of Snake River, lolling under the glowing moon in Stansbury or gauging the tide at the Pacific coast of El Matador; for the last vicenary Jason is holding conversation with every wild flower that blossoms beside the path he treads, listening to the mournful saga of every fallen leaf in autumn and learning the strange story of every brook that happens to cross his way. Jason Christensen has sipped into the natural grandeur around him and with the help of his trusted camera preserved those cherished moments as much as he could. He gathered all his experiences into a neatly showcased gallery much with the enthusiasm of a child who never forgets his scrapbook over the years. Through his photography he proved his faithfulness to art as he has been truthful to the generous beauty around him, courtesy planet earth. His paragon has been revealing the nature at its pristine best. That is why whenever anyone scrutinises his photograph one is sure to smell the earth and feel the splashes of cool spring water soaking the face, thereby, relieving oneself with the agonies and cares of the day.
Gohar Dashti is a visual storyteller from Iran. Her photography portrays the contemporary Iranian socio–cultural vista, how it affected a generation of Iranian population and moulded their livelihood. A war ravaged society, torn by conflicts and even natural calamities such as the apocalypse featured in Volcano provide a grim background for her photographic essays. But life marches on nonetheless. And, as shown in ‘Today’s Life and War’, perseverance and determination succeed at the end. It is a story of a young talent whose accomplishments and the ability of defying odds ignite the hope of many others of her generation inspiring them ‘to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield’.
Gohar Dashti was born in 1980, Ahvaz, Tehran. She currently lives and works in Tehran, Iran. Gohar completed MA in Photography from Art University of Tehran in 2005. For her work she received fellowship from DAAD, Berlin (2009 – 2011). Her work has been exhibited worldwide including in White Project Gallery, Paris, France, 2012; Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany, 2012; Centre d’art Passerelle, Brest, France, 2010; Hillyer Art Space, Washington DC, 2008 and closer to home at Silk Road Gallery, Tehran, 2011 to name a few. Currently, Gohar’s visual narratives are on display at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, US (27th August – 12th January, 2014).
Billy Dodson is sitting inside a dry and shallow trough. His eyes are fixed far into the horizon. He has been told that a herd of elephant is on its way to the nearest waterbody. Like a skilled marksman he too is ready with all his arms and ammunition, his camera with an optimal setting. The excitement starts building up in him with every passing minute. But his many journeys into the wilderness have taught him the value of patience. He knows it may take several hours. It could also be a possibility that the herd changes its track and could not even come anywhere near the area where he is waiting to photograph them, in which case it the whole endeavour may turn out to be fruitless. But he takes heart in knowing that Africa has never been a source of disappointment for him. He simply needs to find more ways in exploring the treasures tucked in every nook and corner of the continent.
It is a trip to Tanzania in 2001 that influenced Billy’s course of life in many ways. Not only he visited and revisited the continent many times since to fulfill his passion for photography but also to collaborate actively with many institutions striving to preserve the wealth of African fauna. He is a patron of Giraffe Conservation Foundation. He also regularly donates images both for spreading awareness about the cause and also to help in raising funds for African Wildlife Foundation, the Nature Conservancy and other conservation initiatives. That his art has found a greater purpose beyond being a source of a positive delight for the audience is perhaps his greatest achievement.
A fiercely concentrated Andrea Pozzi is busy working at the ski slopes of Alps. Every winter he manages spending time in his native Lombardi, Italy, he occupies himself with his other love, skiing. In descending the slopes he leaves his trail on the snow covered mountain. But it is only for a few seconds before fresh snowfall covers the traces. It makes him acutely aware of the ephemeral nature of time, a lesson he particularly treasures during photography. Sometimes, he needs waiting for hours before capturing that ‘precious’ yet fleeting moment in his Canon camera. Being a nature photographer he often finds himself at remote corners of earth. And with only nature accompanying him in his journeys he finds enough time to breath into the tranquillity of fresh air and pristine landscapes. From disparate Patagonia to frozen Alaska, from dramatic Fiordland to unforgettable Ireland, Andrea travelled many miles under the sun with his faithful camera at hand. In going uphill and down dale everyday on ski slopes Andrea has learnt another great lesson, that of taking the highs and lows of life in his stride accompanied by the power of endurance. So today faced with an obstacle in his life’s slalom this visual storyteller from northern Italy knows how to overcome it.