Opening: Saturday May 11, 6 -9 pm
Exhibition Dates: May 11 - June 2
Hell's Bells/ Sulfur/ Honey
Featuring work by: Sophie T. Lvoff
There are some things that can't be conveyed-
description, for instance,
The sundown light on that dog-hair lodgepole pine
and the dead branches of spruce trees.
They hold its brilliance against them
For a tick or two
before it chameleons away.
No one is able to describe this gold to bronze to charcoal, no one.
So move along, boy, just move along.
-- Charles Wright, Sundown Blues
A difficulty lies in conveying the essence of a place that at once aches to
show itself as full of allure, yet only reveals the depth of its beauty to those who
reside within it. Hell's Bells / Sulfur / Honey is a body of color photographs that
serves as a testament to New Orleans' radiance and darkness as well as an allusion to
the tension between beauty and hardship inherent in the city. Through the
formal elements of color, geometry, texture, reflection, light and shadow,
a view of the lived-in environs of New Orleans is described. The novelist George
Washington Cable writes inThe Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life, "and in the
afternoon they entered a land-- but such a land! A land hung in mourning, darkened by
gigantic cypresses, submerged; a land of reptiles, silence, shadow, decay". The
archival inkjet prints of the series open lines of sight onto this land, with surfaces
directly on view as opposed to being under glass or lamination. The images call
attention to repeating forms and themes found within the city-- the imposing nature of
tropical foliage, late afternoon sunlight on cement, decay, vehicles, native
architecture and bright color. Each description is tinged with a fleeting beauty
captured on tangible film. The noise of the city is sucked out of the photograph's
frame, the camera capturing the briefly illuminated phenomena of New Orleans.
The title of this project comes from elements in a Louisiana Voodoo "cure-all"
spell that can solve all one's problems. The elements are to be mixed together, put
in a glass, rubbed on a black cat and then slowly sipped. Hell's Bells are poisonous
(aka Datura or Jimson weed) and are commonly found in New Orleans.