“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
— Jonathan Swift
I have been captivated by photography most of my life. My grandmother, an avid enthusiast photographer, introduced me to photography when I was about 10. She gave me my first camera, a little Kodak box camera.
My primary career, for almost forty years, has been in education, in teaching and administration. My academic field was mathematics. I was born in New York City and grew up in Ohio and New Jersey. In my adult life, I’ve lived in New York City, Michigan, Boston, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Maryland, San Francisco and Los Angeles California, Sydney and Melbourne Australia, and, Connecticut.
I have pursued photography more intensively since retiring from education. At the current stage of my (continually reinvented) life, I find new visions, perspectives, and energy coming to fruition in my photography.
Photography is unique in its capacity to simultaneously document and challenge our perceptions of reality. Photography helps us challenge our way of seeing, perhaps to see what may have been unseen. I am guided in part by the writings of Viktor Schklovsky (1893-1984), a prominent member of the Russian Formalist School of literary criticism. For Schklovsky, the purpose of art is to make the familiar unfamiliar (ostranenie = “defamiliarization”) in order to view things in new ways, to perceive layers of reality hidden from our immediate view.
From Schklovsky’s Art as Technique (1917):
“The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects 'unfamiliar', to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important. “
I am mostly self-taught, though over the years I have been fortunate to have good mentors and to be able to draw inspiration from numerous masters of the medium.
BS Manhattan College
MA Michigan State University
MA Columbia University Teachers College
Advanced Digital Photography, with Elyse Shapiro, The Silvermine Guild of Artists, New Canaan CT
Honorable Mention, Silvermine Annual Student Art Exhibition (for MacDowell Lake, New Hampshire)
1st Place, Silvermine Annual Art Exhibition (for Trees, from Impressions of Nature)
Editor’s Choice Award, Photo Review Annual Competition (for Spring Pond)
Solo show: First Bank of Greenwich, January-February, 2016
Private collections around the country and published in numerous magazines.
Books: Landscapes of the American West, 2012
Impressions of Nature, forthcoming
Most of my work is available for license and/or purchase. If interested, please contact me.
All work is copyrighted by Joanne Mason. All rights reserved.