Skulski Gallery Debuts Photography Exhibit With Friday Night Reception

"Speculation," by Nancy Ori

CLARK — The Skulski Art Gallery of the Polish Cultural Foundation will present an exhibit of photographic works by renowned photographer Nancy Ori from Sept. 16 until Oct. 7. There will be an opening reception for “Widelux Panoramas” tonight from 8 – 10 p.m., to allow the public to meet the artist and view her work.

Ori is a photographer, instructor and event producer for New Jersey Media Center LLC and Cape May Painting and Photography Workshop.

"Observations" by Nancy Ori

“In this portfolio, I am working exclusively with a Widelux camera that has a lens that rotates during the exposure to create a wide view image of about 140 degrees,” she said. “I have been working with this panorama format since the late seventies when I first went out west. At the time I was studying with Ansel Adams and was using the camera to capture the large landscape scenes of California and the southwest in color. I worked with this grand panorama style for number of years in color and still enjoy looking at them as the foundation of my Widelux work and as memories of working with Ansel.

“The camera has certain qualities related to its design that I found limiting with the panoramas. In particular, it has no flexibility in regards to composition when dealing with images including the horizon line. When the camera is level, the horizon line slices the image through the center.

“Gradually, over the last few years, I needed a change from the all-inclusive color panorama and began moving closer and closer to my subjects until the horizon was excluded from the image. Once this happened, I was able to tilt the camera up or down to compose the image with minimal apparent distortion. In reality, the tilt causes tremendous distortion to the perspective as the lens moves across the frame during the exposure. The near/far relationships of objects and space is greatly manipulated creating new realities that could not be done with a conventional stationery lens camera. This is where I find the challenge to handle the camera creatively…to totally distort space without the viewer being aware of exactly what has happened. This new black and white portfolio is a summary of several years of work and includes a great variety of locations. I especially enjoy finding subjects that will work vertically since this is much more difficult a situation to find.

“In some work there is a kind of duality of perspective, similar to a diptych, as it two photographs have been combined. What appears to be a mirror image of flopped negative during printing, on closer inspection is really two distinctly different spaces leaving center frame as a pause in some cases.

“I feel that my increasing involvement with video over the years has greatly influenced the way that I see and use Widelux, almost as if I am panning a scene with a still camera and refocusing on near and far objects as the lens passes by.”

The Polish Cultural Foundation, a non-profit organization is located at 177 Broadway, Clark, just off Exit 135 of the Garden State Parkway. The Skulski Art Gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday from 5 – 9 p.m. or by appointment – contact PCF office at 1-732-382-7197

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