I love seeing a chain of events unfold that is rather extraordinary, that seem implausible, like they would ‘only happen in the movies.’ Documentary film is all about capturing the implausibility of real life and sharing it with an audience. Am I making any sense? I don’t think so but I’ll continue on. William and the Windmill, directed by Ben Nabors is a real little gem which has garnered big interest and just been awarded the 2013 SXSW Grand Jury Documentary Prize. Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s very own Michael Tyburski was the cinematographer on this film, and there are some beautiful shots indeed.
This feature length film was five years in the making. Nabors was inspired by a TED talk featuring a young man from Malawi called William Kamkwamba who saved his village from drought by constructing a windmill. He managed to do this using scrap metal and books from the library. I’m partial to a TED talk or two and I love the journey that Nabors was spurred to go on from witnessing a 5 minute talk online. It tracks Kamkwamba’s rise from anonymity to international public recognition.
Nabors and Tyburski (bottom pic) are a pretty tight knit duo and fluctuate between directorial and cinematographic roles. Tyburski’s last directorial role was on a short narrative film titled Palimpsest which was premiered at Sundance 2013. Check it out, it looks good!
Folklore has often been a way to communicate that which is unknown. Santa Fe University of Art and Design graduate Antone Dolezal has recently released a collaborative photographic series that interestingly explores how these folklores can shed light on real issues facing a community in today’s world.
Working with Lara Shipley, the pair were drawn to the dense backwoods of the Ozark Hills, a geological highland region of the central United States. When googling the area, one of the first things that cropped up was a site called Ozark Hills Genetics, a company that genetically enhances cattle with the tagline “Fertility, Performance and Longevity”. That site, combined with the above series Devil’s Promenade by Doelzal and Shipley, paint an intriguing picture in my mind, one that is part True Blood and part Stand By Me.
Hearing tales of a mysterious light that appears on a chance night in a region know as the devil’s promenade, the pair set out to document the community in a more abstract and interpretative manner. Interested in the phenomena that the locals call the Spook Light, the work illustrates in a beautifully suggestive manner, an unexplained occurrence that symbolizes for many in the community a desire for redemption and the fear of slipping into the darkness. And they’ve captured it well. The works have a haunting nature to them, somehow they feel other worldly and foreign while still remaining familiar. The last photograph in the series above is both confronting and saddening, there’s an emptiness within the scene, an uneasy balance where the character staring out at you could quickly vanish into nothingness. The smoke and the light that’s seen throughout the series only echoes these feelings of temporality, an idea that when looking at a community as a whole is unsettling. And one that is at complete odds with that genetics company’s mantra.
There’s lots more of equally arresting images in the series, so click here and here if you’d like to see more. And if you’ve got some spare time, then check out Antone Dolezal’s lecture at Santa Fe University of Art and Design by following this link.
Book of Shadows is the latest photographic series from Amelia Bauer. As a major fan of her work, and after interviewing her for Frontier’s Santa Fe Special Edition, I was really eager to see what developed from her discussed collaboration with florist Elizabeth Parks Kibbey.
The result is as much intriguing as it is beautiful. I’m in love with the palette so much that I feel like Amelia must have popped into my head and pulled out my favourite over-saturated colour combinations. And she’s used them to such a stunning effect.
But what I’ve found even more interesting about this project is the structure that it stands on. Based on the rituals associated with dried botanicals, the collaboration references the cross over of popular european floral still life paintings, and the Salem witch trials that were occurring in America. Here, plants such as cattail, foxglove, crow’s foot, donkey’s eyes and snake’s tongue, wildflowers used in witchcraft, are presented in their most floral state. Arranged by Kibbey and lit and photographed by Bauer, the result is a body of work that is dark and deep and powerful. In Bauer’s brilliant write up on the work, she infers that this more floral representation of the potions creates a more feminine, less threatening aesthetic. But I tend to disagree… for me these have a sinister side to them which I think is just fantastic. My favorite image has to be the top photo, the colours, the composition and with a title such as To See Spirits, makes it a winner for me on all counts.
Make sure you head to Amelia’s website to check out the full project. It really is worth your time.
And click here for our full INTERVIEW WITH AMELIA BAUER from our Santa Fe Special Edition.
Photographs: Amelia Bauer
2013… and it is on! That’s right, starting as we mean to continue Frontier is branching out into new territory, crossing the boundaries from short format into something, well… a little meatier. Welcome to Frontier Presents, the newest part of the Frontier family. Happening periodically, each online magazine will focus on the creative outputs from a particular area, and we’re kicking off with Santa Fe!
Yes, we’re pushing up through the altitude and taking in the clear blue skies of this famously creative zone. In our first fantastic issue we talk photography with the brilliant Amelia Bauer, music and politics with America’s most notable street artist Shepard Fairey, and minimalism with the wonderful Susan York. We discuss the balance between fine art and graphic design with Penny Dombroski, explore Truthiness and the Light and space movement, and have a chat with Frontiers favourite Hexagono. It’s packed full of Santa Fean goodness!
This new publication is tablet and touch friendly and it’s visually rich templates will give you an immersive experience. So whip out your shiny iPads or other smarty tablets and get flicking through the articles!
You’ll be able to find the magazine link at the top of our page at any time, or head here for instant access!
So that’s it… our new exciting news! Get in there, learn, be creative, have a play and enjoy…. And from all of us here at Frontier, we hope you like!
I can’t think of anything better than travel. Wait, yes I can! Travel and art..a winning combination if I ever heard one. Throw our favorite Design group Hexagono into the mix and you are guaranteed a visual feast. This time around it comes in the form of a book called ‘The Importance of…’ which explores ideas around Graphic Design as Contemplative Art.
Learning and creating are synonymous with one another, which is what makes the outcome of this project so special. The group Hexagono consists of 6 members, all of whom moved from Mexico to study at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design. David Grey, Chair of Graphic Design and creator of this project, offered this passionate and inspired collective the opportunity to return to Mexico on a 23 day educational journey. ‘As a tribe of nomadic designers, they would explore and watch and participate and appreciate.’ This complete immersion in first hand experiences has now been transcribed into a beautiful and thought-provoking book.
Santa Fe University generously funded the trip itself and now Hexagono is looking in to get ‘The Importance of…’ published in an addition of 1500 copies. Our gang at Frontier is one hundred per cent behind this seriously cool project and we think that you should be too.
To get in behind these artists who are doing big things in the Graphic Design arena you can support them here on Indiegogo, an awesome platform that supports independent creative projects.
Who could resist these delectable little images featured above? Not us. We’re hooked!