Carver Hill Gallery, 338 Main Street, Rockland will feature Elizabeth Opalenik for the gallery walk on First Friday, October 2. The artist will be in attendance. This body of work has never been shown before, and we are delighted to be bringing it to you.
In Elizabeth Opalenik’s recent work she uses models in diaphanous fabrics under water. Her camera is at a very interesting vantage point where the water distorts the reality. Her process is unique as she prints these images on deliciously rich handmade Japanese paper, making the prints look, appropriately, like watercolor paintings. She discovered she can also shoot reflecting off of Mylar, which similarly distorts in interesting ways. Hence came the series “Altered Egos.”
“I began photographing models in the water in 1979. Throughout my career, images that resembled the work in “Reflecting on the Edge” would show up for me, but were never the full intent of the way I was photographing then. I would put them aside and think “One day I will get back to this….there is something there…” Then last October, I was working in a friend’s pool and I just “saw” it as something complete and set out to make the images. For the most part, what you see is what I have created in camera. Like many things in life, one must learn how to see what isn’t there to learn how to see it.”
Elizabeth teaches workshops all over the world. She has had several “lives within her life” including owning a construction company and running jazz clubs, but a workshop in the 1970’s in Rockport led to her to sell everything and commit to photography. She has never looked back. Recently she has combined her focus with altruistic ventures, which have become critically important to her.
“Whether you donate money or time, you only need to see one two-year old child have her sight restored from congenital cataracts or hear a grandmother say as she embraces her grandchild , “I’m rich, I’m rich. Yesterday I heard your voice… and today I can see your face.” Then you will know, you can make a difference. There are so many projects in the world, get involved. This year, my trip was funded by the generosity of my workshop students wanting to help. Everybody wins and it is a way for me to blend both sides of my artistic life. More information can be found on project stories and how you can help on my website elizabethopalenik.com.”