The title Con[text] itself is a play on words "con" meaning with in Spanish and "text" referring to any written language.  Literal context is added to an image with the addition of words, numbers, letters.  Shots of billboards, graffiti, headstones or even the illusion of a letter or word counts.  The following examples have been shown at Darkroom Gallery in past exhibitions or provided by juror Tim Clark.

 © William Horton "The Perfect Perch"William Horton's The Perfect Perch is a perfect example of text naturally occurring and re-instating the origins of a subject. It adds a richness to the image and authenticates the windmill.

©Barbara Dombach "Sparrow"Barbara Dombach's The Sparrow is an example of two different kinds of text within the same image, handwriting is juxtaposed with the typeface of "June" in this dream-like image.


© Sean Stewart "Comfortable Alley no34"Sean Stewart's Comfortable Alley no34 is an example of an image with symbols that do not have legible words but the viewer knows they have meaning, obstruction of this meaning makes the photograph all the more mysterious. As this can also be true for text in a different language.

 © EJ Major, from the series Love is..... (published in issue 17 of 1000 Words Photography Magazine)

EJ Major, from the series Love is..... (published in issue 17 of 1000 Words Photography Magazine) is an example of collage. The artist took 2 found objects, in this case, mail and a iconic photograph and played them off one another along with a handwritten addition, it tells a unique story with all these multi layers at play.

 © Harold Ross "Flying Fish"

Harold Ross's "Flying Fish" is an example of a hidden symbol within an image. Can you see the letter T in this photograph? Do you think this is a happy mistake or a consious choice of Ross?

© Hugh Jones "Alice in Wonderland"

Hugh Jones' Alice in Wonderland is an example of numbers or letters creating an overall texture or pattern, adding another layer of meaning to the image.

© Fritzi Newton "If Doors Could Talk"

Fritzi Newton's If Doors Could Talk is an example of documentary photography that just so happens to have fragments of words in the found scene. When you are walking around with your camera you must capture some signage or logos in your shots, this is fair game for Con[text].

©Roz Leibowitz "Annie Julia or Life After Death"

Roz Leibowitz's Annie Julia or Life After Death is a construction of a taken image along with the artist's written word. This is indicative of the dadaist movement, informing the viewer of a specific context to analyze the image.

DEADLINE November 14th, 2018 23:59 EST
This exhibition's juror will privately critique up to 10 images.

Juror: Ralph Hassenpflug

the third bird © Ralph Hassenpflug

If you describe something as surreal, you mean that the elements in it are combined in a way you would not normally expect, as in a dream.

EXHIBIT NOW OPEN FROM September 20th 2018 to October 28th 2018
Artists' Reception scheduled for October 13th, 2018

Juror: Michael Pannier

White Trees, Series 2, No. 7

© Mischa Gregory Macaw

The oldest known single living organism on the earth is said to be a Great Basin bristlecone pine (pinus longaeva) living in the White Mountains of California. It's age is estimated at a little over 5,000 years. Trees have endured through every kind of catastrophe imaginable. . Now that human activity is dramatically reducing forest and jungle we're beginning to understand just how vital a role they play maintaining the viability of life. Forests of all kinds have been called "the lungs of the world".  They're essential to the earth's carbon cycle, taking in carbon dioxide, storing the carbon, and releasing oxygen to the atmosphere. In addition, people have depended on them for all manner of uses, from heating dwellings and cooking food to providing everything from canoes to cashews. Little wonder, then, that trees were worshipped as gods in some ancient societies

Exhibit Calendar (Subject to Change)
Exhibit Opens:20 September 18
Artists' Reception:13 October 18 16:00
Exhibit Closes:28 October 18
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The Darkroom Gallery Difference

As photographers we look  at trees, either in number or individually.  They're often an essential part of a photograph, either as objects of beauty when they're the subject of an image, or as useful "props" for framing a scene.  They're convenient "models" for the camera, since they can be found in most environments on land - even in our biggest cities. 

For this exhibition we extended the challenge to photograph a tree, or thousands of trees, in the photographer's unique vision. We received a great many excellent submissions - enough that we could easily have doubled or triples the size of the exhibit if we had space available to do so. People have a natural and primal affinity for trees, and all the submissions reflect that affection.

 Trees is presented in conjunction with The Essex Junction Tree Committee (www.essexjunction.org/boards/tree-advisory-committee/) which promotes and cares for trees in public places in the town of Essex Junction, Vermont.  

Juror's Statement

Growing up in the Mid Atlantic and exploring the hardwood forests since childhood, trees have always been an intimate part of my life- personal and photographically. Whether the familiar maple of my youth or the trees discovered later in life- Joshua trees of the high desert, acacias silhouetted against a sunset, or the subtropical palms on the coasts and my new southern home- all these trees comfort and trigger memories. I expected to be overwhelmed by the number of exceptional submissions to the Darkroom’s call for Trees, and was not disappointed.  Almost all  were impressive in one way or another- many spectacular. To make the choice of what would stay and what would go was both difficult and agonizing. In any juried show the selection process reinforces the fact that compelling and strong imagery is eliminated from shows and those final choices are almost always subjective ones.  In addition to looking at all the technical aspects of the many submissions, I was looking for subtle use of color or graphic monochrome, unusual ways of seeing what is common to many,  the use of light, and thoughtfulness in the image-making.  Finally, an image must tell a story. I also chose images that reached out to me and made a connection, offered me just enough information and mystery that made me ask questions.

Michael Pannier, New York, August 2018




Up next: Trees




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