Sometimes it’s what’s not in a photograph that makes it more powerful. Sharon Johnson-Tennant travels the world in search of things that are in plain site, but unobserved. She also finds “spirituality in the wealth of simplicity . . . the quiet spaces around us, which are often overlooked, can have the greatest impact on our beings”. Her new series, Diffusion, will open as a solo exhibition at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, tomorrow night, March 3rd and run through the 31st. This collection of quiet and ethereal images are the result of Sharon’s escape from her hectic life in Los Angeles, which includes four children. The images were captured in India, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Malibu, and in Block Island, R.I. where Sharon spent her childhood summers.
Sharon received her B.F.A. from Skidmore College and continued with graduate studies in Color Theory and the Science of Color at N.Y.U. She had a long career in New York City as both a Fashion and Textile designer. This experience included hands-on technical experience in dye labs, fashion and textile studios worldwide, which helped her render different perspectives of color as her eye became more finely tuned.
Diffusion was born over nine years of a need to escape the hectic pace of Los Angeles. To chase down quiet, simpler places and moments that would help quiet my mind, regenerate my spirit and expand my vision. The images in this show reflect that journey. They carry a quiet ethereal quality – they reflect a diffusion of light and sky, visually calming, and at times surreal.
I am drawn to places or things that have seemingly stopped in time. I translate this sense of serenity, peace and tranquility in my work. I feel an intimacy in the close-up. I see sensuality in the details, the light, the shadows, the fabrics and textures around me. I use the camera’s lens to reveal the mysterious and surreal in everyday life; sometimes changing the apparent scale of the subject by focusing on a detail, filling all available space with it and its energy.