The Natural Stone Photography of Leslie D. Bartlett

You Will Be in Quarries
When I Find You Again, You Will Be in Quarries

The Natural Stone Photography of Leslie D. Bartlett
A long-time resident of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Leslie Bartlett’s appreciation of his local surroundings evolved over the past ten years into a photographic exploration of its landscape and the expressive qualities of its unique light. This exhibition focuses on one series from this collection, including images of stone quarries on Cape Ann, as well as the famous “Rock of Ages” quarry of Barre, Vermont.
Bartlett’s stonescapes are a sensitive tribute to the basic elements of earth, air, fire, and water. Demonstrating how careful documentation can become poetry, Bartlett records the world as he finds it, but with a frame of vision that intends to act upon the viewer and shift one’s perception. Landscapes that would otherwise be passed by quickly, are given due attention and take on a monumentality of scale and importance.
The photographer’s expert selection of surreal, natural occurrences and compelling juxtapositions invite the spectator to enter into a contemplative engagement. The result is a layering of observations as one becomes more conscious. One is reminded of how to look and how to be within oneself to truly see. With this gift of the reverential gaze, one is treated to a moment of transcendence when one connects with life on a deeper level and even the earthbound stone can become ethereal.
Although violent and human forces may have created the main object, Bartlett provides visual interest and psychological comfort by surprising us with an harmonious order. Perhaps, it is the beneficent light – the kindest aspect of the fire element that gives warmth and life – that accords with the observer. Bartlett’s arresting photographs offer a perpetual opportunity to experience the natural world with an immediacy and freshness that few are able to find, as well as a lesson on how to behold.
Rebecca A. G. Reynolds
Curator of the John and Margaret Manship Collection,
formerly of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Advertisements