SANDI FELLMAN’s recent photographs are a meditation on the ephemeral beauty of life. The title of the series refers to lines of a poem by Charles Wright, “Poem Half in the Manner of Li Ho”:
“We hang like clouds between heaven and earth,
between something and nothing.
Sometimes with shadows, sometimes without.”
The photographs portray the fragile grace of insect specimens. Shot in extreme close-up, these fleeting visions of butterflies and spiders doubled by their shadows have an ethereal quality that verges on abstraction. The light, filtering through the insects’ translucent wings and etching out their fragile bodies, accentuates this process of dematerialization.
These delicate images embody the surreal aura of the photogram in which the borders between negative and positive, dream and reality, are blurred. While seemingly caught in an incorporeal ballet, the insects and their shadowy tracings display intricate patterns that invoke the spirit of Japanese art. At the same time, the rich split-sepia tones of the prints combine with the pearled lighting and the softened focus in creating a mood of palpable sensuality. At once frail and sumptuously portrayed, the insects appear as resplendent objects of desire.