Schumacher Gallery to Feature Work by Derek Taylor

"Frames of View: An Exhibition of Film and Photography by Derek Taylor" will be in Westover's Schumacher Gallery from August 20 through September 14.

Gallery to Feature Film and Photography by Derek Taylor Aug. 20 – Sept. 14

"Frames of View: An Exhibition of Film and Photography by Derek Taylor" will be on display at Westover School's Schumacher Gallery from August 20 through September 14. A public reception with the artist will be held on Friday, September 7, from 6 to 7 pm in the gallery.

Taylor's show is the first in a series of exhibitions during the 2018-2019 academic year that will reflect Westover's academic the theme, "Owning Your Narrative."

Taylor is an Associate Professor of Communication at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. He holds a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University and an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His moving image work focuses on the intersection of documentary and experimental filmmaking, particularly as it relates to history and landscape. He maintains a very defined interest in the hybridization of both these styles of filmmaking, and a clear focus on the investigation of both the ephemeral and the permanent in the human experience.

Taylor's work has been screened at numerous film festivals and screening spaces, both nationally and internationally, and in unconventional locations such as a pop-up screening space in a Hilton Hotel room in Chicago, an altar of a former 19th century church in central New York, and the interior of a shipping container in London.

In his Artist's Statement, Taylor said, "I have always been inspired by landscape painting and photography, particularly renderings of grand vistas and scenes of natural beauty. Originally inspired by the paintings of acclaimed nineteenth-century Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole, this project started as a look into the journey of the artist, how the artist arrived at a specific location of pure inspiration and perception, and their immersion in this space, embedding themselves to create a work of art. While Cole immersed himself in the locations of his paintings, often doing a number of drawings and studies beforehand, he was also acutely aware of the changing landscape of nineteenth century America, and he focused on ideas of human vs. natural presence in a number of his paintings.

"While this project still contains these notions," Taylor said, "it has shifted focus to the subject of the American West/Southwest, exploring the natural geological movements and collisions that brought about the formation of this historic landscape as well as the unnatural, manufactured movements and collisions evident in the current landscape of the American West/Southwest. I have had an interest in this setting for some time, and embarked on my own immersion into this environment in the Fall of 2016."

Taylor added, "The inspiration for the project in its current form comes from the memoir of German geologist Hans Cloos (Conversation with the Earth, 1953), whose lifelong passion was the investigation of the Earth's crust. Cloos went on a geological pilgrimage to the American West/Southwest in 1927, visiting Utah, California and Arizona. He likened the study of the Earth's surface and geology to being the 'music of the earth.' Edward Abbey, an American conservationist, was aligned with Cloos in expressing similar views about the landscape of the American West/Southwest, but with a more radical bent, in his book Desert Solitaire [1968]. Although several decades separate the works of Cloos and Abbey, my interest and journey westward lie in the juxtaposition of these seemingly different geological philosophers. Filmed in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona from 2016-2017, the imagery in this exhibition is emblematic of the movement and collision that fueled the evolution of these landscapes; my individual perceptions of these landscapes became my narrative of the natural world in cinematic and photographic form."

Taylor said, "This installation, Frames of View, consists of photographs and three screens of projected imagery exploring these optical collisions as they relate to the landscape of the American West/Southwest. In the projection, the middle screen consists of imagery that I refer to as 'vistas,' or the traditional representations of landscape depicted in paintings and photographs. The left screen consists of imagery that I refer to as 'natural collisions,' or natural movements of the landscape untouched by human activity. And finally, the right screen consists of imagery that I refer to as 'human collisions,' or intrusions of humankind on the natural landscape."

Westover's Schumacher Gallery is located in the Louise B. Dillingham Performing Arts Center on South Street. Visitors must access the gallery through the main entrance of the School. The gallery is open Mondays through Fridays from 12 noon until 5 pm and Saturdays from 1 to 5 pm; it is closed on Sundays.