April 4, 2024

"The Surveillance Camera at Plymouth Rock" featured in the 2024 MAEA Art Educators Exhibit

Delighted that my image makes its public debut at the Massachusetts Art Education Association Art Educators Exhibit that runs March 14 - April 16, 2024 at The Gallery at Villageworks, 525 Massachusetts Ave, West Acton, MA 01720

A couple of weeks ago I helped hang the show and my colleagues' artworks are seriously inspiring! 

Opening reception 7-8 pm on April 11th.  

The Surveillance Camera at Plymouth Rock, 2023

I have been making a series of digital in-camera multiple exposures called Reality-Based Abstractions since 2008. This image was made technically possible by using a Nikon Mirrorless Z6 II DSLR camera. I had programmed the camera to layer three consecutive shots into a single image file (see below). However, unlike earlier digital Nikons I have used, the Z6, along with combining the three images, also keeps each individual image file. Thus, instead of the flag image used above being solely embedded in an unalterable layered file, it was available to combine in Photoshop with a close-up shot of the surveillance camera.

Mayflower, Columns and Flag

Rock and Camera
The monument in Plymouth, Mass., which purportedly marks the spot where the Pilgrims arrived, was vandalized twice in 2020, 400 years after the landing.

Hence, the surveillance camera.

Legendary History

An in-camera multiple exposure of the edifice:

Time's Grid

So many legends and falsehoods swirl around the Pilgrims arrival. Perhaps abstraction constitutes a more accurate portrayal.

Landing of the Pilgrims, 1825, by Samuel Bartoli

I recently came across this powerful juxtaposition of paintings at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.  The label clarifies some of the myths.

History Through Art
Pilgrim Point, 1947, by Karl Knaths

Near Plymouth Rock, a replica of the Mayflower, one of crafts that conveyed the Pilgrims, bobs in the harbor waters.

The multiple exposure below might look like reality unless you understand how the ship's rigging for the sails actually works.

Life Lines

I layered three views of a raptor that soared above The Mayflower into a single image. 

Soaring Towards Clarity

Accurate history is elusive.  I am intrigued by the power of belief; that you can believe in an idea that my not be true, yet it can give you purpose, direction and meaning.

What's your Plymouth Rock?

Professor John Nordell teaches courses in the Arts, Media, and Design Program at American International College in Springfield, Mass. He blogs about the creative process at CreateLookEnjoy.com. Instagram: create.look.enjoy