wave: Roe Anne White, Porch Carpinteria
By Kit Boise-Cossart
Roe Anne White’s exhibit “wave” at Porch in Carpinteria is a photographic meditation on solace to be found in light reflections and close ups of shallow water undulations at the edge of a glassy sea.
White, who began her career as a professional portrait photographer, has a long relationship to the ocean. She joins a line of other professional photographers who’s interest in the ocean lies outside of their day-to-day commercial work, such as, Joel Meyerowitz (“Cape Light”) and Morgan Maassen (“Water II”).
White’s images bring viewers to the edge of the sea, summoning them to distill and organize their complex experiences.
“The ocean heals us… I’ve known it intuitively my whole life …” White said.
Photographers like White, Meyerowitz and Maassen carry their sensitivity of looking though the camera lens to share the things we don’t or can’t see.
Two of three arrangements of abstracted waterscapes are frameless and floating from the wall surface. The third set includes four prints under glass with traditional mat and frame, each group mounted in close proximity on separate walls.
The show’s title, “wave,” is derived from the series of six large horizontal dye transfer prints on aluminum. The centerpiece of the series is “Loon Point 152,” measuring 48 inches by 10.5 inches and hung alone at eye level.
With three prints above and two below, “Loon Point 152” is the biggest and most breathtaking of the series. With a deep dark monochromatic hue, the wave’s mirrored skin reflects low light on an undulating surface.
A pencil line of light traces—thick and thin—along an unbroken crest. In the background is a featureless dark blue beyond.
The two prints below, “Miramar 211” and “Miramar 211.2,” each 41 inches x 9 inches, appear to depict the same wave, yet not the point of view, which is lower and darker. These waves have no white crest line, only the reflective base hinting at the sky above. All three together appear as portals to a color field of ocean.
Three prints above, “Butterfly Beach 724,” “Mesa Lane 6,” and “Loon Point 68,” are highly cropped images of wet sand, colored by the sunset in the glow of reflected light. The position oddly suggests sky, rather than the earth below.
The second set of floating images “Winter Sunsets,” made up of nine separate square pigmented prints, saturated by evening pastel colors and mounted on thick maple, are flatter in their depth of field. Hung in a square grid pattern, their geometry is self-contained, giving rational lines to otherwise expanding organic elements.
Jean Michele Cousteau said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Roe Anne White’s “wave” brings us into this net.