'Timeless Images' reflects regeneration of awareness through the eyes of the photographer

The rhythm of life

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2001

The saying "Life is a journey" is demonstrated in "Timeless Images," a photography exhibit currently on display at the Kenai Peninsula College Art Gallery.

The show, by Homer photographer Aleda Yourdon, consists of 20 16-by-20-inch black and white photographs. As Yourdon wrote in an explanation of her work, "the exhibit, in retrospect, seems to reflect a regeneration of awareness of the rhythm of life's challenges and our place in the world around us."


"After Avalon"

There is a female model in each of the photographs, and she seems to progress through a cycle of birth, physical existence, death and spiritual reawakening.

The first picture in the exhibit is "Human Nature." It depicts the woman huddled nude on a crude wooden staircase that is surrounded by and overgrown with dense foliage, as though she's part of, or at least spawned amid Mother Nature herself.

The first several pictures depict the woman in various natural settings, liked posed on a tree trunk in "Forgiving Tree." Pictures eight through 10, "More Than One," "Dream House" and "Death Do Us Part," are three of the four that are not in an outdoor, natural setting. In these, the model is shown dressed in elaborate wedding fare and placed in a glass case.


"More Than One"

The next four pictures seem to represent a physical death, or at least a passage from one state of being into another. The figure is dressed in black and is draped in a black shawl.

"As Above, So Below," picture 12 in the series, is a long shot of the darkly-clad woman standing on the beach at the edge of a pool of water left by the receding tide. Her image is reflected in the water below her. The picture is a collage of different textures, with the rippled pattern etched in the sand by the tide, the disturbed yet glassy surface of the water, and the craggy, snow-capped mountains in the background.

"Fly Away" is a more distant shot of the woman by the pool of water on the beach. This time her arms are outstretched and draped with a fringed black shawl so she looks, as the title implies, like she is about to take flight.


"Distant Shore"

The next series of shots are of the woman posed on the beach dressed as an angel --complete with elaborate, feathered wings.

"Distant Shore," and the first of the angel pictures, is one of the few shots that is not sharply focused. The figure of the angel is double exposed, which makes her look transparent and effectively ethereal.

"Journey's End" is the last of the angel pictures, and arguably the most dramatic in the show. The model is posed at the edge of the surf with her arms reaching up to the cloudy sky. The tips of her wings curl around her body and her feet are sunken into the wet sand. The drama comes from the light captured in the shot.

Yourdon's works are on exhibit until Oct. 19. The gallery's hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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