PhotoPlace Gallery, 3 Park Street, Middlebury, VT 05753
I Siciliani: Roberto
Juror Dean Brierly, editor of Black & White magazine, has selected 35 images for exhibition in the gallery and another 40 images for exhibition online.
In my capacity as editor of Black & White magazine, I am constantly judging images, not only for publication in our regular issues, but also for our Portfolio and Single Image Contest issues. One thing I’ve noticed over time is the tendency (unconscious or not) on the part of many photographers to follow visual templates laid down by others. Happily, this was not the case when I sat down to consider the photographs submitted for this exhibition. I was, in fact, greatly impressed with the originality and quality on display.
From the beginning of my involvement with photography, both as practitioner and editor, I have been drawn to the work of those who go against the status quo, who avidly experiment with the medium, who pioneer their own creative themes and visual parameters. People like Barbara Crane, Mario Giacomelli, James Fee, to name but three. When I look at a photograph in any context—as a judge or simply as a viewer in a gallery—what I look for above all is something that takes me by surprise, that puts me off balance, even upsets me. The cardinal sin in my book is to be boring. This holds true when I look at other types of artwork, listen to music or watch films. It’s always harder to do the unexpected, but invariably it’s more rewarding and meaningful.
I was delighted at how often I found myself
surprised while judging these images. It was obvious that a great deal of
thought went into their creation, as well as originality, sensitivity and
craftsmanship. It’s one thing for a photograph to attract attention, another
thing entirely to hold it. The majority of these images, while striking on
first glance, also resonated with emotional and thematic depth that revealed
additional nuances with repeated views. All of which made it an honor and a
pleasure to have been chosen to play a curatorial role with work of such