Joanne Schmaltz’s large and exquisite images of water plants create a dreamy yet formal world of abstract, activated space. Printed on panels of paper, and spanning up to ten feet, her black and white close-ups of organic forms radiate a quiet intensity. Much of this intensity comes from the artist’s delicate sense of lighting and exceptional strength of composition that exploits every inch and edge of her softly textured surfaces. In the sensuous multi-image pieces, each image stands entirely on its own, even as it flows seamlessly into the overall composition. Every tendril is precisely, painstakingly arranged to reveal a luminous beauty.
“This is muddy work. The neighbors must laugh, seeing me in my tiny inflatable boat, slowly circling the shore. Our lake is so small you could swim its width in three deep breaths. And yet I get lost for hours. Paddling through a world of green chaos, I’m mesmerized by its intense, smelly, noisy, abundant life.”
“Some distinct form will catch my eye and pull me from my reverie back to “my project:” my excuse for coming here again. I reach into the muck, shoulder deep, offending the fishy depths to untangle a six-foot root of water-lily.”Joanne is involved in an ongoing photographic exploration of form, gesture and sensuality in nature. Her desire is to encourage an intimate look at the quiet, and sometimes surprising, elements found in the natural world.
Her photographs have been exhibited in many juried, group and one woman shows in New York and New England. She currently lives in Guilford, Connecticut.