– February 24, 2013
Judy Brown grew up in a small, rural Texas town and went on to become a scientist and educator in New England. Following her career, an interest in photography rekindled her passion for horses.
A series of her photographs, Elliott is featured at The Griffin Museum at the Aberjona River Gallery, 184 Swanton St, Winchester, MA, December 3 through February 24.
“My admiration and longing for the horse began with a Shetland pony while I was in kindergarten in a small town in Texas,” Brown says. “We had class in front of the teacher’s house; the pony was kept in the back. It appeared each morning to be ridden by each of us for a short distance back and forth. Then it was put away, but remained in my imagination.
“So large and beautiful to my young eye and more important at that age, such fun to ride, this pony became the symbol of the unattainable as I grew up without one of my own, ” Brown says.
Brown attended Rice University and the University of California at Berkeley earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry. After nearly three years of postdoctoral work in physics outside Paris, she returned to the states in 1964 to a position in the physics department at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she spent four decades. During half of that she was also a visiting scientist at the MIT Media Lab studying computer perception of musical signals and later computer classification of marine mammal sounds. Currently Brown, of South Natick MA, is Professor of Physics Emeritus at Wellesley College.
Since taking a Photoshop II class at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2007, she has devoted most of her time to photography, taking two more classes in digital photography at RISD and two studio art classes at Wellesley College.
When a fellow student in a RISD course suggested she take pictures of what she loves for a landscape assignment, she chose horses. “I like doing minimalist images of horses in their stalls where the background is simple and the abstract form of the horse can dominate,” she says.
“I came to appreciate the expressive power of form and texture, used in these abstract images to communicate the unattainable and mysterious qualities of horses,” she says “This set of 18 minimalist images of a spirited pony in his stall were taken with natural lighting against a dark background isolating the form of the pony from his environment.
“They best capture my vision of the spirit and beauty of line of the horse, the ineffable; but are more the product of the occasional luck of the shutter release than a `defining moment’ ” she says. “They are dedicated to my subject, Elliott, the Little Leprechaun’. ”
The Griffin Museum at the Aberjona River Gallery is at the Aberjona Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 184 Swanton St., Winchester, MA. It is open seven days a week, 11 AM – 5 PM. Visitors should enter at the parking lot entrance and see the receptionist.