The gallery @ wiljax » featuring photography inspired by the Mississippi Delta

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Sarah Hodzic & Carol Ann Ward: Plastic Delta | a toy camera show

The Mississippi Delta can be both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time.  Often, what seems ugly and alarming turns out to be quite beautiful upon deeper examination. The opposite, of course, holds true for those things we deem to be stunning at first glance.  And yet, just when we grow to expect the unexpected, what is beautiful turns out to indeed be beautiful and what isn’t then seems to linger the longest.

This land and it’s people have many layers, both literally and figuratively crafted from the winding lifespan of the Mississippi River.  It can be a confusing place to navigate, even for those that have spent decades calling it home.  What you are certain is occurring one day, can twist in an instant, and carry you in a direction you never expected.

Photographers Sarah Hodzic and Carol Ann Ward are not natives to the Mississippi Delta, but they do possess the spirit of this land.  The toy cameras they used to create the images for this show – holgas, dianas, pinholes, and the like – create a mysterious feeling wrapped in beauty.  These plastic cameras are simple in their structure, yet these images are far from simple. Both Sarah and Carol have not only overcome the limitations of the toy cameras they use, but have creatively found ways to use these limitations to their advantage.

We are excited to host this show because it is a wonderfully accurate and artistic reflection to the life we Deltans live everyday.  There is a metaphor in this show, and in the way it was created, that parallels much of what is faced here in northwest Mississippi.  A beauty is present, along with a melancholy and nostalgia that is a common recipe for the most beautiful of southern art.   And most certainly there are layers – lots and lots and lots of layers – the understanding of which, as always, depends on your perspective.



About the artists . . . .

A native of McLean, Virginia, Sarah Hodzic’s work with the Holga has appeared online with Toycamera, PhotomediaCenter, LightLeaks Magazine, ErieTimes-News SHOWCASE along with being published in the new toy camera book, ToyCam by The Toy Camera Book Team. She has won several awards for her toy camera work, including taking first place in 2009 Holgapalooza and Best in Show – PhotoMedia Center’s 2009 Holga 3.0.  Most recently Sarah had a solo show in LA at the Petter Fetterman Gallery showcasing her images from her trip to Jacmel, Haiti. Her images were sold to benefit the children in the surrounding township.

Carol Ann Ward was raised in Rochester Hills, Michigan and received a BA in photography from Columbia College in Chicago.  Upon graduation, she worked as a commercial advertising photographer before finding her niche’ in portraits and fine art.  She currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.