Melancholy & Perfection

PhotographerMarianne Smith Dalton
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

My background as a painter informs the way I see and interpret the world around me. There is a constant interplay between form, color, light and shadow while references are drawn from art history. Paintings by Lucas Cranach, and Giorgione, whose works have both a beauty and crucial provocative element that I find enticing, beckon. My intent is to present images rooted in art history while touching upon a personal desire to face my own mortality. My ultimate goal is that these images will raise a shared bond emphasizing that we each are a heartbeat away from our historic past.

About Photographer

In all of my photographs I build a stylized ‘idyllic’ world while remaining rooted in a melancholy realm of nostalgic recall. At the same time, I endeavor to highlight those disquieting moments that often make me feel as though I may have entered a dystopian, unsettled dimension in time. To this end, I set about the task of creating images grounded in my own elusive awareness, each a study of subtle tensions and soft contrasts where the deliberately staged emerges somehow uncalculated yet ‘more than’ natural. I consciously stage each photograph striving to produce moments of ‘deliberate’ chance. It is the balance and capture of both the intentional and the accidental that challenge me while the evocative nature of photography itself further motivates and drives my vision. So too, the use of color becomes an essential tool as I gravitate toward muted subtle tones that help provoke the ethereal mood and otherworldly feeling I seek to create. My enchantment with early hand-colored photographs that exude a soft, delicate quality also drives my palette choices. My ultimate goal is to produce haunting photographs that speak the language of longing and reminiscence while connecting with my audience on both a visceral and enticingly provocative level.