Highlandtown HAppenings Laura Vernon-Russell Kini Collins and Martha Simons

Highlandtown HAppenings Laura Vernon-Russell Kini Collins and Martha Simons

Laura Vernon-Russells This Lady Has the Blues: Cyanotypes is currently on view at Romans Place.  To say that Laura’s involvement in creating these works is impressive is an understatement,  a lifelong maker, she has crafted every part of the photographic process by hand. Her pinhole camera is a fitting piece of equipment for an artist such as Laura. The long exposures required are ideal for someone whose passion for the natural world resides at the center of her curiosity. As with every great maker Laura seeks to have control over her process, preferring the darkroom over the lab. This hands on approach preserves the integrity of the work as it is the absolute realization of its creator. From composition to print Laura hasn't captured these images, she has willed them into existence through a means of her own creation.

“. . . The print created by brushing the cyanotype chemicals on paper and exposing negatives created in a camera I that made myself contribute to my delight in the “object-ness” of the prints.  They’re things in themselves – not just pictures of things.”

The cyanotype process adds an eerily ethereal feel to her  landscapes imbuing them with a pleasant  air of quiet desolation, conveying the sense of a certain peace within nature which can only be realized by a world undisturbed by humanity.


On view at the Laughing Pint this month is Images from Peru with works by Kini Collins and Martha Simons. In viewing Kini’s work it is immediately apparent something is different, her familiar avian forms are absent in all but one of her pieces. What is not missing is her distinctive style as she uses hand colored paper on wood to deftly define the form and texture of the Peruvian landscape and architecture. Her Silencio series recalls the grandiose spanish colonial architecture of the Santa Catalina Convent of Arequipa. The deep red walls and doorways come in contrast with the grey narrow openings of the primitive Incan architecture in her Inca Wall series. Kini’s landscapes appear boundless her muted tones adding credence to the rugged terrain as trails trace the paths of the Andean as they have for thousands of years.
Fiber Artist Martha Simons’ crochet and bold colorful acrylics reach across time and reveal a culture with a rich storied heritage and a profound love of nature.
 “The series of portraits of alpaca and llama are my homage to these wonderfulcreatures who are so integral to the history of the Andean culture. The small “souvenir” paintings are depictions of the trinkets we purchased from roadside vendors, some merely whimsical and some bearing ancient and arcane roots.  The crocheted series of Incan cosmology reflects the reverence for Mother Earth (Pachamama) and the skies above and below.”