LIMINAL

photographic work from seven  Maine artists

Henry Austin | Michael Harris | Dylan Hausthor | Probably Joel | Chanel Lewis | Hans Nielsen | Izabella Provan  

August 1 - September 1, 2018 

Opening Reception | Thursday, August 2nd, 5-7 pm
Artist Talk | Sunday, August 26th, 2-3 pm at New System Exhibitions, 82 Parris St., Portland, ME

PhoPa Closing Reception| August 23rd, 5pm 

 

Lim·i·nal
/ˈlimənl/

Adjective technical
Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.


Liminal showcases projects from seven artists at the start of their careers. Through the medium of photography, these artists look thoughtfully at spaces that are often neglected by mainstream society and find comfort and inspiration on the margins of our everyday experience. The word liminal serves as a double entendre, defining not only the nature of initial exploration in each artist’s work, but also the threshold-like place that these projects hold in the artists’ careers. Liminal celebrates innovative and energetic new work, pays tribute to the growth of the art world in Portland, and delights in the creative inspiration these seven artists have found in Maine.  

 

Artist Statements

 

Henry Austin

Project Statement - FAKE FLOWERS

These photographs emulate the paradoxical idea of a fake flower. Flowers (real flowers) are
fleeting in their nature-- some only bloom for two weeks of the year or if they’re cut, and put into
a vase, they wilt and eventually rot. Fake flowers, on the other hand, are in perpetual bloom--
their vibrancy extending beyond our lifetime. My interest in flowers (both real and fake) comes
from their use in memorialization. Grief, joy, and peace of mind all find representation in the
beauty of a flower. But these photographs, like fake flowers, preserve otherwise fleeting
moments of bloom, manifested in fundamentally unnatural colors and forms that nonetheless
appear genuinely organic. They’re testament to my own encounters with beauty in the world and
provide me with the same comfort as a flower.

 

Michael Harris

Project Statement - Bread of Wonder

Bread has social, cultural, and archetypal significance across the world, but it is often overlooked as ordinary. Wonder Bread was originally a symbol of freshness. Over time, it became stale and synonymous with poor nutrition and taste. By my throwing the bread in the air, the subjects experience the wonder again, albeit in a very different context. Ultimately, Bread of Wonder re-examines the ordinary by re-contextualizing it into a comically surreal experience.

 

Dylan Hausthor

Artist Statement 

Dylan Hausthor’s photographs manipulate a landscape that is simultaneously autobiographical, documentary, and fictional: a weaving of myth and symbol in order to examine the chaos of storytelling. Using the grammar of nature, Hausthor forces floating signifiers past questions of validity of evident field recordings and into a much more human sense of reality; faulted, broken, and real.

The often disregarded underbelly of a post-fact world seems to be the simultaneous beauty and danger of fiction. Hausthor’s images tell stories filled with tangents and nuances, treading the lines of journalism, spectacle, and the quiet absurdity of small town gossip.


Probably Joel 

Project Statement (and loneliness and) 

Growing up in a city that never sleeps, there is something charming and otherworldly about
the silent nights of Portland, Maine. And loneliness and is an ongoing photo series of the Greater
Portland Area after dark, highlighting the unsung moments of a place otherwise known for its rocky
coastal scenery, lighthouses and other maritime activities.

This is an ode to Portland, for Mainers, from the perspective of a nocturnal alien.


Chanel Lewis 

Project Statement - Vacancy 

In southern Maine, there might be a shortage of space; rising rents and the drawing of the city are the culprits. However, spaces aren’t full. There is a constant sense of vacancy. I look around and see empty seats. Be it the underutilized bus system in the Greater Portland region, or the brain drain in the more rural area, Maine is approaching a scary cliff that begs the question, “where are all the people?” Vacancy is a collection of images depicting a constant state of emptiness. 


Hans Nielsen

Artist Statement

The camera empowers me to approach strangers who don’t have the means or capacity to hide their hardships. For them, they have no choice but to wear their misfortunes on their sleeves. I see a system that caters to people on top of the socioeconomic ladder at the expense of the people on bottom. Beauty can be overshadowed, but with a closer look, it can be seen.

 

Izabella Provan 

Artist Statement 

Upon surfacing you find fallen pollen. We are particles that grasp the gravity that clings; temporary installations in-between. To gasp above and breathe bellow: anticipating the floating, distance, light—black holes and your eventual collapse. These are the reactions that come from bending galaxies back.

This work inspects the middle ground in the presence of anticipation, the fear of the unknown.