Kendall Isotalo: Quietude

Exhibit Dates: 
Tuesday, Mar. 7 to Saturday, Apr. 1
Artist Reception: 
Friday, Mar. 10 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
2nd Saturday Opening: 
Saturday, Mar. 11 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Kendall Isotalo’s body of work Quietude examines the emotional space that can occur during a time when a perceived threat of loss and transition coexists with feelings of gratitude and hope. She has found that in his attempts to be fully present and aware, she is able to experience profound moments of stillness, quiet, and tranquility.

Isotalo’s photography is about capturing the balance and difference between moments that she perceives as tranquil and mysterious, versus those she finds more melancholy or uncertain. “I’ve always been aware of how these two very different ways of perceiving and responding can trigger emotions on a multi dimensional level,” she says. “I’m also interested in negative space in the sense of what is invisible or unknown and how that can create imaginary or altered realities. I combine old family photos, as well as other photos that I may find at thrift stores, with new images, placing myself in most of them. I use old images not as a way of staying stuck in the past, but rather as a way of honoring, understanding and preserving it. In many ways, I feel that I’m breathing new life into old photographs, keeping the past alive. The process of my photography has always been extremely cathartic for me. When I work on photos, thoughts flow freely and I’m in an almost meditative state of mind.”

Kendall Isotalo grew up in a family where her father was always taking photographs, especially of herself, her mother, and her siblings. “Since I was frequently being photographed, I think it sent a subconscious message that photography was something of great significance and importance. By my early twenties I realized that I had amassed a large amount of shoeboxes full of photos, at least compared to other people my age. I was already taking time to look through all of them too, and I felt the beauty of the power they possessed. They had an ability to evoke emotions within me and temporarily transport me to another place and time.”

As a young teen, Kendall Isolato was highly introspective. “I wrote many poems with the idea of creating songs, but I didn’t play any instruments. At the same time, I also started taking photographs of friends and family with a little instamatic camera my parents had given me. And so when I was a student in the 90’s at SFSU, it seemed a natural choice for me, after just one semester, to switch from studying psychology to my passion—photography.”


© Kendall Isotalo


© Kendall Isotalo


© Kendall Isotalo








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