Judith Montminy‘s collection Dancing Alone is on the walls of the Griffin Main Gallery until March 26, 2021, as a part of the Atelier 33 exhibition. Her work represents a departure from her usual subject matter due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown. For more insight into the Dancing Alone series, we asked Judith a few questions.
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?
Worlds apart from my typical street photography, the abstract water-centric images of “Dancing Alone” grew out of a quest for sweet visual lemonade diametrically opposed to the bitter and lonely emotional landscape of COVID-19.
In March 2020, the pandemic cut me off from the creative urban energy that had powered my art during regular visits with family and friends in Dublin and cities along the East Coast. Then the virus infected my 94-year-old mother; in early April she died.
As I ached from the rawness of those profound losses, photography offered little solace.
Yet in the spring, abstract patterns partially hidden outdoors near my home unexpectedly caught my attention. By fall, constructive critiques and encouragement from [instructor] Meg Birnbaum and fellow Atelier 33ers helped nudge my photography in a new direction – one where non-figurative imagery takes center stage and close-up filters help heighten the playful interaction between water and a variety of elements, including air, glass, acrylic ink, food coloring, and oil.
How delightful to discover these unchoreographed dances while traveling a new photographic path forward, even within the confines of a still uncertain future.
What do you hope we as viewers take away from viewing your work?
My hope is that viewers connect with the uninhibited joy and dynamic movement that’s fundamental to the work in “Dancing Alone.”
Tell us what is next for you creatively.
My immediate next creative adventure is Griffin Museum’s “Deepening Your Photographic Practice” course taught this spring by Emily Belz.