One of Savannah’s newest independent art galleries will host a special photography exhibition this week.
“LOOK” explores life through a feminine lens and will feature the work of four female photographers: Jemma Castiglione, Eva Verbeeck, Kendra Stanziola-Mirrop and Rachel Treide.
The exhibit will show at the Drawing Room Gallery inside The Lodge, which also houses the artist studio space Starland Studios.
The group initially started as a collection of informal workshop sessions.
“The four of us would gather together for breakfast with the explicit purpose of talking about photography, sharing new work, and providing a space to critique and encourage each other, and we wanted to create a space where we could come together on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to do that,” photographer Treide said.
Treide will be displaying 30 stereographic images, which when viewed through what looks like a small set of plastic binoculars creates an eye-popping, three-dimensional depth. Stereographic cameras and viewers use two separate images that when viewed simultaneously overlay each other and present a spacial quality not found in other formats and mediums.
“I love photography’s imitation of the visual world, but I always wanted something more from it,” Treide explained. “I wanted it to be more immersive, so when I saw stereography, the images were so arresting, and I was absolutely fascinated by it.”
Verbeeck, a native of Belgium, grew up exposed to American culture and aesthetics second hand through the proliferation of American media. Upon her arrival to the states, Verbeeck quickly began to notice that while the setting seemed accurate, the American people were not what had been portrayed. Even in Belgium, Verbeeck felt that America set the beauty standards,
This sparked her interest in creating a more accurate portrait of American women and girls. Shortly after, Verbeeck began taking her large format camera to schools in South Carolina and Georgia to photograph portraits of cheerleaders.
Eventually, after seeing the works’ potential, she expanded the project to include pageant girls, soccer players, and girls in the marching band. She has now amassed over 500 portraits.
Stanziola-Mirrop’s large-format landscapes have been described as empty or eerie focuses on a duality between two different versions of Savannah. Pitting the downtown area’s polished, posh surface-focused aesthetic against some of the more barren and stark neighborhoods not so far away.
“SCAD is not Savannah,” Triede said. “They’ve changed a lot and brought a lot to this city, but there’s still a lot of suffering and problems here.”
The project was initialized after Stanziola-Mirrop found a Facebook group named Mothers of Murdered Sons, a community of women who have lost their sons and have a tremendous amount of shared grief.
After going through police records and newspapers stories online and in print, Mirrop travels to the location and attempts to photograph it as accurately as she can. Treide believes Mirrops work gains its strength from its ability to capture time.
“Often things happen and there’s no physical marker, we never know about it, or we forget it, and it never gets recorded,” Treide said.”
Castiglione’s breathtaking medium format featuring familial portraits dissect her overlapping roles as a young student/artist and a daughter/peacekeeper — a role she played after her father suffered brain damage in a traumatic car accident that’s since left him with erratic mood swings and behavior.