Monday, August 1, 2016

Paula Puffer's show at The Texas Art Asylum

Last Saturday I attended a gallery opening at The Texas Art Asylum of Paula Puffer’s photographs. There were several groupings which included Paula’s travels, the missions of San Antonio, her involvement with saving the sea turtles—all beautifully accomplished.

However because of my experience with Janet there was one grouping that I specifically wanted to see—the photographs of her grandmother who is experiencing dementia. We arrived early, actually before all the pieces were hung and I am glad that we did. As you enter the gallery area there are only a few photos already hung on the opposite wall. This one, of her grandmother hung on an extension created by a support column. There were no other images near. It is a beautiful portrait—very direct, very engaging. It expresses the grandmother’s tremendous trust of Paula as well as Paula’s concern in exploring her grandmother’s experience. Later other images that filled out the story were hung nearby but I am extremely pleased to have captured this single image.

I generally like to photograph freaky toys at the Art Asylum. Saturday they were grouped into a confined area rather than being scattered about the room as they have been in the past. It would have made for some very different images but for an interesting mistake. Photographs that were made in the 1/160th to 1/200the second had a series of several alternating light and dark bands. At first I had difficulty determining what was causing the bands. But it appears that the focal plane shutter curtain was picking up the oscillation in the fluorescent lighting. The images were unusable.

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