Four favorites: photo show in Dover

Some of the Seacoast’s best female photographers in one show

The show is called “Talented Women,” but the emphasis is on their talent. The fine art photography of Julee Ann Holcombe, Nancy Grace Horton, Susan Lirakis, and Cheryle St. Onge is on view at Camera Commons in Dover, through July 3. They have local connections, but little in common in terms of subjects and technique. It’s an opportunity to compare a variety of impressive photography in one room, including large format, pinhole, cyanotype, and digital collage.

“Dulces Suenos – Skull and Dress”
by Nancy Grace Horton

In this series, Nancy Grace Horton documents time spent in rural Mexico, where she leads a cultural exchange project for kids. It translates to “Sweet Dreams” and expresses a brief, but rejuvenating departure from the routine of life at home. She says time slows down and she’s able to fold into her surroundings and take in the mysteries and metaphors of another culture. Her self-portraits are a mirage within the distinctive architecture of Mexico, but she preserves the shapes of native elements in cyanotypes, the chemical process that makes blueprints.


“Baby Duck”
by Cheryle St. Onge

"Baby Duck" by Cheryle St. Onge is on display at Camera Commons in Dover.A combination of earth science and show-and-tell, Cheryle St. Onge’s large-format photography captures the enduring wonder of nature. Like natural collections, the series “Natural Findings” is about learning through observation, and the still images allow for limitless scrutiny. Many feature her children holding or studying other living things or signs of wildlife, like a jar of frog eggs or a delicate nest, with unadulterated curiosity and appreciation. Black and white, sunlight, and soft edges let these photographs register as though a piece of our collective memory.


“Ocean, Sachuest Point”
by Susan Lirakis

"Ocean, SachuestPoint" by Susan Lirakis is on display at Camera Commons in Dover.Though many of her photographs are landscapes, Susan Lirakis portrays and evokes the thoughts, feelings, and memories of our inner landscapes. Her images are inquiries into life, growth and evolution, loss and possibility. She recollects dreams and uses photographs to explore, express, and remember. Lirakis sometimes still uses the plastic cameras and pinhole methods of childhood, taking her and the viewer back to a place of self-discovery with an open heart.


“Merchant Shaded Dwelling” (detail)
by Julee Ann Holcombe

"Merchant Shaded Dwelling" by Julee Ann Holcombe is on display at Camera Commons in Dover.Julee Ann Holcombe’s “Made in Chimerica” series of collaged photographs merges imagery from travels in China and life in America. It depicts multiple perspectives, a style traditionally found in Chinese landscape painting, but repurposed to contrast past and present, natural and manmade. With technology as the protagonist, she seamlessly pieces together a pictorial narrative of current events. The result is a sense that a unique culture is endangered, and that globalization and disconnect with nature is partially to blame.