Jane Garnes is an international photographer and artist resident in both the United States and France, and with a particular love of and fascination with Japan.
Jane Garnes recently published Patterns, a collection of 43 photographs taken in Japan: patterns being the theme of the photographs and by which they are organized.
A particular defining feature of this collection is the accompaniment of each photograph by a haiku penned by the photographer, inspired by the subject of the photograph.
Patterns is organized into three parts: symmetrical, repeating, and asymmetrical patterns. Most photographs are of a single subject, but the collection includes collages as well.
The subjects of the photographs are fairly evenly balanced between the natural and the manmade, the latter being the artifacts, architecture, foodstuffs, and implements typical of Japanese culture. Only one human subject is included, but even then it is wearing a traditional mask.
Patterns thereby represents a very objective eye, and a very observant one that approaches its subject with precision and measure. The thematic focus, though, is on the abstract notions of pattern and symmetry, giving the collection something of a contemplative mood.
Yet the abstract, as reflected in Patterns, does not mean arcane. There is pathos and even whimsy here, portrayed in a rich panoply of colors from gorgeous to subtle. There is the vermilion splendor of intricate corner rafters of a Japanese temple, the whimsical juxtaposition of the logo designs of different brands of piled up sake barrels, the grotesque convolutions of octopus tentacles, the lonesomeness of an old wooden pail on its side, and the desperation, however lovable, of gaping chicks waiting for their mother to return.
Patterns is a very polished visual take on Japan that will appeal to anyone with a love of beauty. The kaleidoscope of images is cleverly held together by its eponymous theme, and the reader can turn to the haiku for the impressions and observations of the author in verse form to enhance or provide some background and added flavor to the visual experience.
Finally, Patterns was published some months after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and the photographs themselves taken at the very time of the disaster. All proceeds from the sale of Patterns go to the Riverside (Ca.) Sendai (Japan) Relief Fund.
Riverside has been a sister city of Sendai since 1951, and the Relief Fund was established in the wake of the Earthquake to assist in the recovery from the damage Sendai suffered from the March 2011 quake and tsunami and nuclear catastrophe.
Buy Patterns by Jane Garnes online
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