Exhibition Statement: Quiet Moments
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
Quiet Moments is a collection of Photographs by Sarah Hawley on view at the Bradford West Gwillimbury (BWG) Public Library in Bradford, Ontario. From October 21,2022 to January 20, 2023, the exhibit is on display on the East Wall (near the elevator) on the second floor of the library. This small selection of black and white images shares the common theme, that is the title of the show – Quiet Moments. Each image depicts this through stillness, simplicity, isolation, emptiness, abandoned scenes and of course, silence. There is a gentleness about the images that is amplified by the absence of colour, enhancing the quiet element present in this body of work.
Although all the images are literally quiet, because of course, they are still photographs that don’t produce sound, they are also quiet in other ways. Visually, they are images of still moments where subjects are often surrounded by darkness or white open space that illustrate empty, abandoned, or simple compositions. The photos are free of clutter, stripped back to their basic form, to invite the viewer to take a closer look at the images in greater detail. For instance, these images are presented without the use of loud, bold colours because that may act as a distraction. The photographs are not happy or sad images, they are quiet images in the sense that they are gentle in nature and intended to show moments from life that embody an element of calm, peace, and/or tranquility. We often get this sense or feeling in life when we are secluded away from other people, and so, there are no people in any of the images. Only evidence that a human presence was there at a previous time. This gives the viewer the sense of being alone when life is often the quietest. - a state we are now all too familiar with since living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The images that make up the exhibit range from a quiet trail in the woods, being under an umbrella, a collection of empty glass jars, a record player with no record, birds flying across a sky overhead, a book from above with pages fanned open, two dirty coffee cups after a friendly meeting, a stack of handwritten letters resting on a desk, and an old camera that shows its age, wear, and tear.
This exhibition is site specific, meaning that the location where this body of work is shown is an essential part of the whole exhibition. The theme or common thread that connects each photograph throughout this collection of imagery is "Quiet Moments", which felt like an appropriate title for this exhibit, given that the location of the work on view is in the quiet area on the second floor of the library. – it’s a quiet space for quiet artwork, and quiet contemplation. It was also important that these images were shown here in Bradford because not only is this the community where the artist lives, but all the images were taken locally in and around the surrounding area of Bradford.
This exhibition was made possible through a program offered by the South Simcoe Arts Council (SSAC). Arts in Our Community (AiOC) is an SSAC program that partners with local businesses, institutions, and public spaces to showcase artwork by local artists. The program is free for SSAC members to participate and the SSAC takes care of any artwork inquiries, including sales. I would like to acknowledge the South Simcoe Arts Council and those directly involved with the Arts in our Community program. I appreciate all the hard work of those involved who make this program possible. A special thank you to the BWG Library, and their staff for participating in the AiOC program by allowing the SSAC to use their wall space to showcase the artwork of local artists. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to be able to exhibit my work in the library and in the community that I call home.
For more information about SSAC, please visit their website at https://southsimcoeartscouncil.com/
Included in this blog is an online gallery of the Quiet Moments body of work that was chosen for the BWG Library. This digital exhibition was assembled for those who wished to see the photographs but are unable to do so in person.
Exhibition: Quiet Moments
Exhibition Dates: October 21,2022 to January 20, 2023
Location/Address: Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library
425 Holland St W.
On view on the East (elevator) wall on the second floor of the library
For more information, please see the Exhibitions and Events page or visit the library’s website.
Library website: https://www.bradford.library.on.ca/