Fellowship 14: Projects by Donna J. Wan and Aaron MacLachlan
We are pleased to announce that Donna J. Wan (Menlo Park, CA) and Aaron MacLachlan (Pittsburgh, PA) are the winners of the Fellowship 14 International Photography Competition. Now in its 14th year, this juried competition identifies and recognizes both rising talent and established photographers from all corners of the globe and from the state of Pennsylvania. This year’s judge was Linda Benedict-Jones, Curator of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
The winning portfolios by Ms. Wan and Mr. MacLachlan are scheduled to be on view at Silver Eye Center for Photography from January 31 through March 22, 2014. Admission is free and open to the public.
With 222 applications from 19 countries around the world, judge Linda Benedict-Jones was quickly reminded of how difficult a task it could be to choose a winner.
International Award winner Donna J. Wan’s mesmerizing images, from her series In the Landscape, are concerned with people’s interactions with nature. From a vast horizon of ocean to a sprawling, snowy forest, Wan welcomes us to breathe in the landscapes that she has allowed us to populate simply by viewing the photograph.
“Donna J. Wan’s mesmerizing images are concerned with people’s interactions with nature. Witnessing the human race as presented through her lens is liberating,” states Benedict-Jones. “The men and women we witness in the forest, at the gorge, by the river, and elsewhere, are dwarfed by nature as they assume their rightful place in the universe. With their backs turned to us, and their faces barely visible, these people become placeholders for you, and for me.”
A stark contrast to the vast views of nature that Wan provides the onlooker, Keystone Award winner Aaron MacLachlan, with his series Solipsism Postulate, pushes the boundaries with his own experimentation in the digital domain in which the world of photography now resides. Utilizing Google’s “Search by Image” feature implemented in 2011, MacLachlan input his photographs and the results were incredible diptychs that require more than just a simple glance.
“The willingness on the part of MacLachlan to allow a machine to curate partners for his images illustrates a contemporary twist in the art-making process, one that has parallels in music, sculpture, painting, and more,” states Benedict-Jones. “The comparisons fascinate, yet leave us wondering what may come next. They almost beg the question: Can we imagine a shift from ‘everyone is a curator’ to ‘curators need not apply’?”
Five Judge’s Commendations have been awarded to the following photographers. Each of these photographers will showcase one image during the Fellowship 14 exhibition: Victoria Crayhon (Providence, RI, USA); Johanne Seines Svendsen (Gimsøysand, Norway); Kevin Sweeney (Austin, TX, USA); Christian Werner (Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Germany); and Yoong Alex Wong (Istanbul, Turkey).
Photo Credits (left to right): Donna J. Wan, At the Airstrip, 2007-2013. Courtesy of the artist. Aaron MacLachlan, Flax, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.