Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Treasure Beyond Measure

Inside this round barn at the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont are treasures beyond measure. While we were there in late July, there was an exhibit of quilts made by the family and friends of those who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece. The quilts are a lasting and powerful tribute to the lives of those who lost their memories, the creativity and love of those who made the quilts and a reminder to us all to cherish every moment and memory.

Look closely at this one: from top to bottom it documents the activities that were lost sequentially by the mother of the quilt's creator, Christine Adams. Beginning with travel and golf, through communication and finally the ability to eat and breath. The quilt was so raw, so compelling, so full of pain.

This one was an intricate balance of color and quilting skill. The design reinterprets a photo of a young dancer who later died of Alzheimer's.

A closeup:

And look at this one by Liz Kettle. The heart drips a sea of endless tears of beautiful beads...

a closeup:

Also at the Shelborne until October 24 is
Ansel Adams and Edward Burtynsky: Constructed Landscapes
description follows:

"Constructed Landscapes
is Shelburne Museum’s first exhibition of modern and contemporary photography. The exhibit features over 60 photographs by Ansel Adams (1902-1984), one of the most influential and popular landscape photographers in history and Edward Burtynsky (b. 1955), a contemporary photographer whose images of “manufactured landscapes” such as mines, railway cuts and dams have brought him considerable acclaim in the past decade.

Burtynsky and Adams are in stark juxtaposition in Constructed Landscapes. Ansel Adams’ classic and pristine black and white images of undisturbed nature contrast with Burtynsky’s stunning color prints of landscapes altered by man, including quarries in Vermont."

Everyone is familiar with Adams' work, although there are a few less known photos here that I hadn't seen before. I became familiar with Burtynsky's work through the documentary Manufactured Landscapes, you can see the trailer below. It is totally amazing. It documents his trip to photograph a rising China. He travels and photographs giant factories, huge landscapes of coal mountains, peasants taking apart homes brick by brick that will soon be inundated because of the Three Gorges Dam. At the same time he explores the devastation of our consumer waste stream: mining, production, transportation, recycling, waste, pollution, and the dismantling of an oil barge. Images from this film haunt my mind when I'm debating whether to buy typical consumer products. We have not gotten a microwave or air conditioning in our new house thanks to this film.