Gokey photo exhibit explores ‘paradise’Published 3:12pm Monday, April 23, 2012
Figuring out where Waldo is might be easier than finding all 10 faces subtly incorporated into Elisabeth Gokey’s Southwestern Michigan College photography exhibited until mid-May at Frame of Mind in downtown Dowagiac.
After graduating from Union High in 2010, Gokey attended SMC intending to become a veterinarian, but film class turned her in a different direction and digital photography the following semester cemented her new path.
Libby, who expects to graduate next year, enjoys traditional darkroom photography as a hobby, but digital is the destination for mainstream photography.
“I spend as much time on my computer as I did in the darkroom,” she laughed. “I like how it’s easier to add color.” A book she assembled for her class is called Color Blind. “I love animals — my grandma owns a stable. I’ve always taken as many art classes as possible, but (photography) is what I love. Going to SMC was a good choice for me because it let me experiment with things I wanted to do.”
A Coldplay song, “Paradise,” inspired her show, which began with a survey of college students. “It talks about a girl running away from reality. I wanted to figure out what others consider paradise and make photos out of their ideas. Every image has a face in it. The faces and pop art feel both draw in the audience.”
“Paranormal Romance” is about a girl sitting on a couch, watching a movie with her boyfriend. “Crossing Over” is a bridge whose railing guides whoever is entering the forest that represents passage into the unknown of God’s land.
“Time Travel” shows a clock on a vehicle dashboard. Bow hunting inspired one.
“By Invitation Only” shows a two-sided bench at Russ Forest. The woman who suggested it likes being surrounded by people she loves, but dislikes being with people who annoy her. “No Service” shows a remote natural scene beyond the intrusion of cell phones.