Essay: Introduction for the work of Leslie Gabaldon. by Raul Miyar
Introduction for the work of Leslie Gabaldon
Chronicle of a Mind Opener
by Raul Miyar
The photographs of Leslie Gabaldon at the Altos de Chavón gallery are entitled “Chronicle of a Mind Opener – A visual register of unavoidable thoughts”. A long title for an instant image. Instance is the nature of photography, but how does one name an instance? A phrase, not a name that accompanies and informs the image seems perfectly appropriate for the poetic work of Leslie Gabaldon that captures and illuminates the elusive and unnamable instance.
Leslie photographs “between the lines”. She photographs those instances that seem to be of the mundane world, the things we don’t look at, those insignificant things we don’t see as we scan from one point to the next. Collectively, however, as her images are coupled and grouped, they transform into a palpable, albeit intangible space, moment or “unavoidable thought”. They are no longer what they represent individually: a curtain, the ocean, a flower. Instead they transform into a visual language that communicates clearly and directly through impression. These illusory spaces and subsequent notions that pierce through the surface of our senses are not tangible because they exist in between the lines of our nomenclature. They are palpable, however, because they are real and authentic sensory or even extrasensory experiences of our daily existence. Leslie has the capacity to identify and capture these in-between spaces that are loaded with our rhythms, vibrations and signatures. Our histories, stories and perceptions are etched into these openings that she so eloquently narrates with her lens. They are the faint pauses that lie between our words when thoughts, feelings and emotions flood in to inform or maybe confuse us, and just as quickly seep back into their well of intervals after having christened our gaps. We know these apertures exist. They are our very composition, but we have no name for them. Installation artist Ann Hamilton states that we should “trust those things that we can’t name”. Leslie Gabaldon not only trusts them, she visits them, engages in dialogue with them and photographs them. Whether comfortable or uncomfortable, these places are familiar to us and consequently resonate some degree of genuine understanding. Through her sensitive and stirring imagery Leslie manages to transport the viewer to this mysterious yet entirely intimate pre-word state that reveals our inescapable memories and truths. Once within its domain, we all can name it.
Chair, Fine Arts Dept.
Altos de Chavón School of Design