Viewpoint Photographic Art Center presents the exhibit Road Trip Poetry by Dave Hennessy in its Step Up Gallery in January.
Hennessy explains that “Road Trip Poetry celebrates the extraordinary, the comical, and the sublime in an ordinary commute between Sacramento and Petaluma. With my iPhone I was able to capture what at best would have been merely a glimpse of something grand. I discovered that something grand is always nearby. I do not have to go somewhere ‘special’ or even leave my car.”
“In years past,” Hennessy says, “I spent a lot of time in the darkroom. Now I am a self-taught (mostly) maker of digitally-based images.“ In Road Trip Poetry, Hennessy fully embraces the digital nature of his image-making; the series is conceived as a poem in which “each stanza is comprised of a digital image captured with my iPhone 4, a ‘barcode’, and digitally-created framing elements that accentuate the image’s natural lighting.” The ‘barcode’ of metadata text from the image file, he explains, “should answer questions about how, when, and even where.”
Each piece is digitally ‘signed’ with a stylized circular shape “intended to emulate the Zen ensō, those hand-painted circles that refer to realizing this-moment-as-it-is.... In signing my work with a stylized ensō, I am reminded to continue practicing seeing, really seeing, what I am looking at.” In his art making, Hennessy states, “the ‘I’ surrenders to a witness role, a beholder of the unexpected, and hopefully, of wondrous surprises. In making art I focus on watching and listening to the making. What am I seeing? What am I feeling? Is it poetic? I conserve what appears to be working.”
The prints in Road Trip Poetry are made by infusing dyes directly into specially-coated aluminum sheets, which gives them a luminescent quality under normal room lighting.
In addition to being an art-maker, Dave Hennessy is an independent consultant in behavioral ecology.
Point San Pablo