Emily Whiting was quite surprised to hear her photograph, “White Bowl,” won the coveted Best In Show distinction in this year’s Maine Photography Show (MPS).
“I’m also so grateful for the recognition. It was very unexpected and I’m delighted, obviously!” said Whiting from her home in Washington, D.C.
At Boothbay Region Art Foundation over this past weekend, juror Bruce Brown said the simplicity of the photograph “is part of its magic.”
Whiting and her family began living in West Boothbay Harbor part-time 15 years ago, and in D.C. the rest of the year. She has seriously pursued photography for over 20 years and, interestingly enough, her focus is on people. Portraits are her specialty. So, what changed?
One year ago, not sleeping well and walking around the house most of the night, Whiting found herself focusing on objects in her home. She and some friends joined an online photography project called “Close To Home.”
“I did become more observant about my home while spending time in quarantine. A simple object like a bowl was changed as the light hit it from different angles throughout the day. My favorite poem, by Amy Clampitt, includes a line – ‘Let the light pass, let the air circulate, let there be intervals for moving apart, for coming back together.’ That poem is often on my mind when I am making portraits, as I think about space and connectedness between people. But in quarantine, with the absence of those relationships, the ideas became more about photographing the light and space created by the loss of those human connections – and more about the objects in isolation.”
The three photos she submitted for the show were among those included in the Close To Home project.
Wrote Brown about “White Bowl”: “The table is defined by two single straight lines which meet at an angle, while one continuous circular line defines the bowl placed on the table's edge. Having the table positioned off-center offers an energetic composition, more than a centered table. As a result, the soft brown background presents a wonderful variety of elegant geometric shapes including both straight and circular lines to engage our interest. Kudos to the photographer for a timeless image!”
See the 16th annual Maine Photography Show at BRAF, 1 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor through May 7. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Find the awarded images and Brown’s comments on his selections at https://mainephotoshow.org
If, while viewing the photos in the show, you find one or two that would look fabulous in your living or dining room – all of the photographs are for sale!