In this highlight of the Atelier 33 exhibition, we interviewed Diane Shohet to hear about her collection, currently on view in the Griffin Main gallery until March 26, 2021. For the Atelier show, Diane captured images of her “little house” in Wellfleet, Massachusetts as a way to reminisce on past summer memories.
Which of these images was the impetus for this series? How did it inform how you completed the series?
The Blue Chairs inspired the rest of the series in a number of ways. It focused on a space touched by human presence, yet connected to the natural world. The colors of the chairs, pale and faded, as if dimmed by the memory, inspired the colors in the rest of the series. The emerald of the trees and the summer light also infused the rest of the series.
How has your photography changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? Has the Atelier been a motivator to persevere through these trying times?
At first, the pandemic made it difficult for me to find inspiration and to take photos. I spent time re-envisioning images taken during different times. My annual visit to the Cape this past summer inspired me to photograph again. The Atelier started in the Fall and weekly assignments forced me to explore my new and more restricted world. It motivated me to keep taking pictures. And then, in preparation for the show, I stretched myself in new areas: Photoshop, printing, and presenting for exhibit. Great learning experience.
What can be said about the idea of portraiture captured through objects, as opposed to people?
I love taking pictures of people. The pandemic put people out of reach. It was then that I realized that certain objects and spaces held their presence. So, the objects and spaces became portraits of where they had been.
What do you hope we as viewers take away from viewing your work?
Their own memories of summer.
Tell us what is next for you creatively.
Right now, my creativity is going into writing for my job. I hope to start another photography project soon.
To see more of Diane Shohet’s work, visit her website.