School of Art and Design Alumni Exhibition 2021

Wellington B. Gray Gallery

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Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge

Janice Hardison Faulkner Gallery


Jane Heilman
Graduated 1984

I enjoy making digital photographic images in both color and black & white with nature, landscape, architecture and the urban setting as my subject matter. My current focus is on abstraction with an intention to invite the viewer to see something familiar in a new way.

During the 2020 Pandemic, I sought refuge in my local forests, not only as a place to be calm and quiet but also to contemplate what I wanted to create for the future. With the trees still bare, I noticed line compositions within their limbs and branches and played with how to photograph them. As leaves emerged new visual elements were introduced along with complexity. After spending an entire cycle of seasons in these woods and along the Eno River, I now return to favorite spots to note changes and photograph again. This journey into the forest began a new body of work along with a new theme rooted in abstraction.

As Vincent Van Gogh wrote in 1882, “Sometimes I long so much to do landscape, just as one would go for a long walk to refresh oneself, and in all of nature, in trees for instance, I see expression and a soul”

One of my life long photographic themes is the reflective surface, especially windows and water. Reflections have always given me a way to create an image with depth, layers, and the unexpected. “Along the Cox Mountain Trail” was taken in December of 2020, on the back side of the mountain along the bank of the Eno River. Still under the influence of a wet fall, pools of rainwater remained longer than usual creating an additional feature on the woodland floor. This particular day was bright and sunny with plenty of opportunities to capture reflections in both the river and the standing pools.

I really enjoy the opportunity to stand still and gaze into a reflection, allowing both my eyes and my mind to perceive the subtleties that emerge. There is a contemplative moment as I compose and capture the image; to disconnect from definition and meaning as I look through a lens of design elements, the moment becomes transformative.

Along the Cox Mountain Trail, digital photography, 20″ x 16″, 2020