The Robin Rice Gallery is pleased to present Rosanne Olson's third photography exhibition, Rapture. The opening reception will be held Wednesday, May 8th, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
In this dream-based series, water becomes a metaphor for sky. The invitational image, Bourrée, depicts a woman suspended in soft hues of blue, floating upward as if ascending into the heavens. In Arabesque, the model seems to tumble gracefully through clouds, arms outstretched. Olson's color images are surreal and mysterious. In most of the images there are refractions of light and bits of clouds that blend together, leaving us feeling as if we are looking at watercolor paintings.
Olson describes Rapture as, "a biography of my dreams." This series represents, for her, the world that lies just beyond consciousness—where "time shifts, gravity loosens and we slip into another realm." Through the images she conveys the dreams she's had since childhood of floating weightless in the sky. In reality, Olson photographed them from above in swimming pools in Seattle, Washington combining images with clouds photographed mostly in North Dakota, where she grew up and visits each summer. The effect is ethereal. Her models could be construed as angels.
Olson's entrancement with the medium spans over 30 years, starting in 1980 when she did a series of swimmer images while in graduate school at the University of Oregon.
In the Rapture series, despite each image's balanced composition, Olson claims the process of photographing women and vintage dresses is a bit unpredictable. Incredibly delicate, the dress in Into the Clouds is over one hundred years old, made of lace. To capture both, she shoots instinctively, reacting as clothing and body position continually change. Yet when it comes to her models she strives to create a meditative situation, "the subjects need to be relaxed so the water is calm, which is hard to do when gravity is pulling down."
Rosanne Olson works in both fine art and portrait photography. She obtained her master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. Over the past 25 years, her photographs have won many awards and were included in numerous photography annuals including, Graphis and Communication Arts as well as a cover story in Communication Arts. Her work has also been featured in View Camera Magazine, Lens Work and Photo District News. In 2008 Rosanne authored a book titled, This is Who I Am—Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes, about women and body image. She teaches lighting, portraiture and creativity at various photographic schools, colleges, and conferences. Rosanne is represented by Robin Rice Gallery in New York and galleries in Aspen and Boston.