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Artist's Reception: Derek Henderson at McNamara Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, January 6, 2014

the trees are big and the sky is blue

March 2 – 23, 2012

Reception with the artist:
Friday, March 2
5:30 pm


In his upcoming exhibition the trees are big and the sky is blue Derek Henderson presents images of teenagers captured with a view camera. The teens are all part of the same social group. In a video by Tom Roberton, link below, we see the work in progress. The teens are out camping in the forest, but this seems to be a place they frequent. There are tents, picknick tables, even an old stove stove is put into action. Towels hang on trees, so perhaps there is a swimming hole nearby. The teens have books, guitars, and provisions. There is a lot of what you would expect, a group of youths caught between childhood and adulthood, but the intimacy achieved in the work is quite memorable. At a moment in life when it is natural to struggle with being yourself and being someone else, we are actually quite impressed with the poise of the teens, with their awareness of self, and with our ability to see who they are becoming. Some of the teens are quiet and introspective; Henderson catches them deep in thought and completely unaware of him. Others stare inquisitively into the eye of the lens and look out at us without apology. Their t-shirts and as we can only imagine from the video beer drinking contest do offer some form of posture, but Henderson cuts through the exterior to engage the spirit inside. The frames work alone, but together become more. Henderson has recorded a special moment in the group's youth- this time together in the woods. We forget ourselves, we forget to judge, we remember what it was to be young, and we share an afternoon with them.

For more information on the exhibition please visit McNamara Gallery

Video documentation of the project by Tom Roberton here

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