The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE photographer exhibits in Venice

Left Hanging, Patricia Richards
Left Hanging, Patricia Richards

by Tabitha Redder/managing editor

A NE photography associate professor received far more than a high-five when her photo series titled Left Hanging was selected for an art exhibit in Venice, Italy.

Five pieces of Patricia Richards’ series are currently displayed in the Palazzo Albrizzi for an exhibit called Future Identities-Bodies. Places. Spaces.
Richards described the series as “visual archeology,” explaining that archaeologists study ceramics and pot shards that belonged to ancient civilizations to determine how their culture survived.

“So if you take that into modern time, what I’ve been looking at lately is a series of visual pieces of information that have also been left hanging,” she said. “Billboards no one has changed. Items on walls that show information about current events or about the way we live or work that hang past their due date. I’ve gone around and photographed those which, in the end, show us cultural information about ourselves.”

NE art chair Martha Gordon said artists can hang their work, and their work can be removed, but a remnant stays there, like removing a photograph from a wall. A dark, barely visible square is still left behind.

Sun Screen, Patricia Richards
Sun Screen, Patricia Richards

“[Richards] seems to think that we’re living at such a fast pace that many times we don’t stop to look at the remnants,” Gordon said.

Sheila Setter, a publisher in Austin, said Richards’ series is filled with commonplace elements but is anything but mundane.

“The photographs are beautiful and quiet, and in a way, a little eerie,” she said. “Looking at them, for me, it is a little like discovering a trunk filled with treasures in grandmother’s attic. There is fragile beauty and a little sadness in these images.”

Setter praised Richards’ dedication to the art of photography and said it surpasses others in the same profession.

“Whereas some photographers direct their energies toward promoting themselves and the importance of their work, Patricia is passionate about the pictures,” she said. “For her, it is a love affair from the second she discovers an image and captures it on film until the moment she brings that experience to life on paper.”

Richards’ work has been displayed in Hungary, France and the Ukraine, so while she is no stranger to shows in other countries, she said Left Hanging has been one of the most thrilling exhibits she’s produced.

Saint Mary of the Umbrellas, Patricia Richards
Saint Mary of the Umbrellas, Patricia Richards

“One of the really exciting things is the reception was totally about the work, not about the person who made the work, but about the work and what the work says as it stands alone, and that was really fascinating.”

Richards said photography has changed the way the world functions because people can find information about others without traveling.
“This has been a real eye-opener as to possibilities that are out there that go beyond the confines of our geographical area and also the U.S.,” she said. “It’s really interesting to open up a dialogue about work with people who live in other places.”

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