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s. mcgrath ryan         recent pinhole photographs
september 6 to october 25, 2003          in the photolab gallery
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artist's statement

Visual Child S. McGrath Ryan was a 'visual' child. Drawing and painting gave way to student movie making projects. In college she made story boards with her still camera and quickly realized that photography was a fun way to make a living in New York City. She worked in New York as an assistant, freelancer and then a printer in a professional lab.

Ms. Ryan's early personal  photographic work was in the documentary style. She also experimented with many alternative processes. And she  was drawn to the work of Alfred  Stieglitz, Lois Connor, Sally Mann,  Marsha  Scheer  and  Georgia  O'Keefe  and
Tina  Modotti.

Appreciation for my Subject   She says of her pinhole work, "It shows what I like about black and white (photography), the drama, the satisfying negatives and the stark, delineated images that help me to express my appreciation for my subject."

Currently, Ms. Ryan continues her fascination with the 4x5 format.  She is also working in portraiture, night photography and portraits of animals, using both the pinhole camera and 35mm film.


The Box   Recently someone asked Ms. Ryan why she used a pinhole camera; a camera that has no view finder. Why indeed?

We can speculate that the photographer who uses a camera with no view finder likes surprises and believes photography is magic. After all, photography is only a means of recreating light as it reflects off the world. And the camera is only a one eyed box in which to collect a few of the patterns of light as they fall towards us.

So the photographer who looks thru the view finder, or doesn't, and clicks the shutter, or not, hopes she 'got it'. And prays for a good surprise.








This exhibit is dedicated to

Almut Hellman


Special thanks to my friends who helped make this show possible:

Erin Crowe, Lorye George, Deborah Mulein, Hannah Mulein Sanders, Nikki Schrager, Zoe Vivino.

 contact S. McGrath Ryan

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