Sandra Louise Dyas Photography


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


As hard as it is to get myself to send out my work for photo competitions, this summer I made it a priority. Three friends of mine convinced me it was worth it. I mean I have done it before and had a tiny bit of luck but usually it was the rejection email or letter not the 'congratulations-you-are-in' note. I want to give mucho credit to Laurel Snyder, author of many new books including her latest fabulous book - Any Which Wall. Laurel and Sonya Naumann and I had an inspiring lunch one day this summer. Sonya had just mailed out a gigantic print of one her famous Thousand Dollar Dress photos. (If you have not seen the photos from this on-going project you are missing out!) One of the images had been accepted to a show down in New Orleans by the juror Sylvia Plachy. I took a workshop with Sylvia in 2001 in Maine. I cannot say enough about her...her work is beautiful and very poetic, as is Sylvia. She also wrote a wonderful little blurb for the back of my Down to the River book.

I am meandering... all of these women artists have inspired me deeply. As Laurel told me that day..."throw your work out there every week and see what sticks to the wall" not exactly her words but close enough. I got the point. Chris Offutt, another very good friend of mine told me the same thing a long time ago. I figure if Chris still gets a few rejection letters, I can bear getting them too...

Finally I am to the point of saying I got accepted to two shows this week!!!! (yes I did get some rejection letters too but who cares!) A photo of Katie Roche is being sent out today to the 2009 "From Our Perspective" National Women’s Art Exhibition. This show runs from September 17th - October 9th at Oakland Community College. The title of this photograph is Katie in Her Wedding Dress, Iowa City, 2009.

Last night I received word two pieces were accepted into the Midwest Biennial in Wausau, Wisconsin. The Blue Chair and Blue Birds! are both going to be shipped out....soon! Both can be found in my Heaven & Earth gallery. It pays to have good friends in your life who continue to inspire you. Love to my friends.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heaven & Earth - a photo installation

Sue Coleman (our Cornell Gallery Director) and I spent two solid days installing my new body of work entitled Heaven & Earth. This is a relatively new way of working for me although years ago I did many installations involving lights, sound, dresses, etc.

Lots of challenges hit me as I began to hang the photographs by pins to two large gallery walls. I hung a similar body of work (albeit very differently) at Wartburg College in Waverly this past February. I really like the way spontaneous way of working - it is similar to how I have made photographic collages on paper. The installing gives me a great amount of freedom in responding to the space at hand.

This is strictly photographs - they are pinned to the walls of the gallery creating a map-like space. Radoslav calls it modern hieroglyphics. The images combine in numerous ways - repeating themselves, juxtapositions, various sizes, color, etc.

Challenging to do this on-the-spot but I like how I can respond to the space in front of me. The work reminds me of my past work, especially the otherworldly aspects of The Lost Nation Photographs. I have re-worked many of the black and white photos from that body of work and they appear in Heaven & Earth as visitors from the past.

Kate Greenstreet, my poet friend, says we continue to say the same things over and over again in our work - we just say it in different ways. True.

The Cornell Faculty show will open on September 13th but the reception will be held on October 10th, a Saturday from 3 - 5pm in the Luce Gallery, Cornell College. Maybe I will see you there!

Friday, August 14, 2009

AFTER STAFF A Closer Look - Bill Owens, the distiller, published a book of art photography once

AFTER STAFF A Closer Look - Bill Owens, the distiller, published a book of art photography once…

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Bill Owens, Whiskey and Pictures

One of my favorite photo books is Suburbia by Bill Owens. Read this interview - note his great advice to photographers...well to anyone yourself. Shoot what is in front of you, "take pictures because you want too".