Prama Artspace and Gallery rings in the New Year with its first exhibition of 2021 staring Jan. 22 when it debuts “Place: work by Anthony DeMarco and Lena Atomika.”
The two-person exhibition runs through Feb. 21st. and features two photographers, both Parma natives, capturing location as a character in the narrative of their images while contemplating the concept that the geography of an image can give us a reflection of who we are and how places are tied to memory.
“Place to me indicates what ties us to this 3D experience in life, as defined by our senses in ‘time and space,” said Atomika. “It is our unique association in the word linking us to the specific times in space which mold our experiences and ultimate realities. And how we choose to view/capture the moment helps to define us as beings within those experiences.”
Atomika’s image “Golden Hour,” which is a photographic term meaning the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, shows the viewer an arid landscape with leafless trees and grasses leading off into the distance to meet a drab, grey skyline. The image conveys a feeling of desolation, emptiness and thirst.
Atomika suffered a near-death-experience in December of 2010 when a Redwood tree crashed through the roof of the cabin where she was staying, pinning her beneath it. The experience informs her work.
“My focus is Human Resilience and my intent is to inspire others who may be facing a challenge and/or struggle themselves,” said Atomika.
Atomika describes her work as spontaneous art, which is apropos since she is an improv and sketch comedy graduate of The Second City and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Referring to the spontaneity required to do improvisational theater, “I use that same frame of mind and ‘lens’ when capturing images for my photographic work,” said Atomika.
The second photographer, 77 year-old Anthony DeMarco, is a lifelong Parma resident and a former art instructor at Parma Senior High for over 30 years. DeMarco attained a B.S. and a M.A. in Art Education with a focus on Photography. He also did with some graduate work in Cinematography while there.
”I approach photography from a cinematic perspective” said DeMarco. “I have always been interested in how the director of photography selects that first shot of a movie…It is one of the most important shots…This shot gives a great deal of information to the viewer about where, when and what they are about to see.”
DeMarco’s image of Notre-Dame du Haut by Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier is an image which elicits a feeling of otherworldliness with the building’s bulbous roof slopes, its concave walls and windows which resemble computing punch cards of the early 20th century. Two men wade in the foreground like two passengers about to board some sort of extraterrestrial space ship.
“When you look at my photographs you will notice that they have a tranquil quality about them," said DeMarco. “These are a collection of interesting places I have seen and that may inspire viewers to use their imagination of what happened in those locations.” DeMarco hopes that someday he will create a photograph which will, “change the way we live” and that he “just might be remembered for.”
Curator and owner Sean Mabin just celebrated Prama’s second anniversary on Nov. 5, 2020, on which day he also tragically suffered a heart attack from blockage in his left ventricle. Luckily, doctors were able to put in a stint and he is on his way to a paced recovery. He is thrilled to be hosting these two photographers and to have the gallery up and running.