DesBrisay reopens with Mindful Portraits

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Photo adorning the poster for Mindful Portraits. The photographer&#8217;s husband, David Herrick, modelled for the photo.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Karen Parnell-Herrick is a member of the Bridgewater Photography Club.</p>

For the Bridgewater hairdresser, Karen Parnell-Herrick, it's not much of a leap to go from cutting hairstyles to designing portrait art using a camera and photo processing software.

"It's all in a creative form, I think," Parnell-Herrick told LighthouseNOW.

In any case, Parnell-Herrick's photos are regarded as a cut above many others. The member of the Bridgewater Photography Club now has a collection of her photographs, which she's named Mindful Portraits, on exhibit at the newly reopened DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater.

Parnell-Herrick is relatively new to the art of photography. "About six years ago I decided it was time to do something I had never done before," she wrote in a biography accompanying the exhibit. "That something was to buy a second-hand Olympus camera and explore the art of photography."

Although she took "a lot of great shots with that camera," she has since "upgraded" to a Canon.

According to Parnell-Herrick, she bores easily, and dabbled at various types of photography, including landscape, street, floral, formal portraits and still life. "And I have enjoyed and cultivated a love for all." However, recently she has steered toward fine art portraiture.

"A fine art portrait photograph is intended for wall art. It can sometimes be described as 'decor photography' or 'photo decor.' This style of photography stands in contrast to documentary-style photojournalism in which subjects and events are captured to represent reality. Fine Art images are made, not captured. Time is taken to prepare. They begin as thought in the mind of the creator and are then brought to fruition," Parnell-Herrick explained in her background to the exhibit.

The photographer said she enjoys portraits, "but not portraits in your typical sense. I create visions in my mind and I try to create them with my camera and with Photoshop."

Inspired by the steampunk genre, with Mindful Portraits she was looking to present something that was different from the norm.

"And they are quite different from what you normally see. They're bordering on fine art, which is probably the direction I think I'm going to go. But I'm not quite there yet," said Parnell-Herrick.

Mindful Portraits is on exhibit at DesBrisay Museum on Jubilee Road in Bridgewater from June 29 to September 30. The museum is now open to the public Monday to Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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