After Life: Featuring Gil Maker, Don Menges, Luann Pero and John Solberg

Aging Poetry by Luann Pero

In the realm of photography, there are countless ways to explore the beauty and fragility of life. After Life, featuring Image City Photography Gallery Partners, Gil Maker, Don Menges, Luann Pero and John Solberg, is a captivating photography show that delves into the intricate details of nature’s final stages and pays homage to the memories of those who have departed. Through a collection of images showcasing wilting flowers, fading foliage and poignant memorials, this exhibition invites viewers to contemplate the ephemeral nature of existence and the enduring power of remembrance.

The photos created by Don Menges, Luann Pero and John Solberg, embrace the concept of impermanence by focusing on the beauty found in the final stages of nature’s life cycle.  Through skillful composition and lighting, the photographs capture the delicate and intricate details of drooping flowers and deteriorating foliage.  Each image tells a story of transformation, reminding us that even in decay, there is a unique and captivating beauty.

Bike by Gil Maker

The inclusion of memorial photos taken by Gil Maker, adds a thought-provoking layer to the narrative. These photographs serve as a poignant reminder of the fragility of human life, capturing the essence of remembrance and the impact of loss. Gil says, “I chose to show memorials left at the places people died in car accidents.  The idea to leave some kind of marker that we existed has been around since the first burial took place.  Having a headstone lets future generations know you existed.  Otherwise we die twice; once when we die, second when we are forgotten.  These roadside memorials serve the same purpose.  They help us to remember that a person lived, but also tells us how they died, and if these memorials stand the test of time, they will not be forgotten.”  

By juxtaposing the fading beauty of nature with the solemnity of memorials, the show invites viewers to reflect on their own mortality. Gil’s remembrance photos capture the essence of grief, love and the enduring connections we have with those who have passed away.  By immortalizing these memorials through photography, the show emphasizes the importance of honoring and preserving the memories of our loved ones.  

Explosion by John Solberg

The photographs in After Life go beyond mere documentation, employing symbolism and metaphor to convey deeper meanings.  The wilting flowers symbolize the fleeting nature of life, while the fading foliage represents the changing seasons and the passage of time.  John Solberg says, “We started off with the ‘off-hand’ description as ‘dead stuff.” The idea was to photograph nature’s flora after the flow of life had receded. What is left, often, are the structures that held the colorful life of the plant during its ‘on-stage’ time, and structures that assure a continuing cycle of the seeds, seed pods and parachutes.” 

Apocalypse by Don Menges

In a world that often celebrates youth and vitality, After Life challenges conventional notions of beauty by showcasing the allure found in decay.  John observes, “So often we’re just disappointed when summer’s beauty ends.  We revel in the colors of the leaves, and then it’s a long wait for spring.  But there is so much beauty in the ‘after life.’” The photographs encourage viewers to appreciate the intricate textures, subtle colors and unique forms that emerge as flowers and foliage transition from life to death.  

November Bouqet by John Solberg

This celebration of the beauty in decay prompts us to find value in every stage of existence.  After Life is a photography show that transcends the boundaries of traditional art exhibitions.  Through its exploration of wilting flowers, fading foliage and poignant memorials, it invites viewers to contemplate the transient nature of life and the enduring power of remembrance. By embracing the beauty found in decay and honoring the memories of those who have departed, this exhibition serves as a reminder to cherish every moment.

Ligularia by Don Menges

What are your thoughts about the After Life exhibit? Please write your comments or questions in the comment box below.

3 responses to “After Life: Featuring Gil Maker, Don Menges, Luann Pero and John Solberg”

  1. While picking up my prints I had the opportunity to see this featured show on the gallery walls. It was a great theme that the photographers contributed to. There was a nice flow to it. After the autumn colors are gone and the leaves have scattered , November is a fine time to look at the remains of warm weather plants. Thanks to all of you for creating this fine collection.

    • So glad you enjoyed the exhibit, Jim. It’s definitely an interesting theme and well worth exploring. I agree with you about November; it is always intriguing to see the last rose hanging on to a rose bush, especially when it starts to snow.

  2. Camera Rochester’s Excellence 2023! exhibit is now at Image City Photography Gallery. We’re a friendly group of camera enthusiasts who love creative photography. We enjoy capturing interesting and unusual images, looking for new viewpoints and using fresh thinking about post-processing our work. We feel it’s important for each member to develop unique strengths rather than be guided by the opinions of others.
    Camera Rochester provides opportunities for our members to exhibit in a variety of venues and also informs our members of individual exhibiting and sales opportunities.
    We owe the late Dan Neuberger, a long-time Camera Rochester member and a founding Partner of Image City Photography Gallery, a profound debt for his encouragement of creative and innovative photography.

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