Combining Portraiture with still life to create images that are neither, Myrosha Dziuk's skillfully printed black and white photographs captivate the viewer and challenge the conventions of her medium. Her work appears to document actual people and bits of flora and fauna, but the poses and juxtapositions of disparate elements suggest a narative that shifts the emphasis from the subject to the viewer's imagination.
Nature Stilled features work from three series: Objects/Nature; Botanicals; and Figures with Still Life. Several photographs suggest Catholic rituals, such as the pious visage of a veiled, virgin-like young girl, or the clasped hands wrapped in snakeskin and shrouded in darkness. The dead butterfly resting on the forehead of another subject becomes a talismanic object, endowing the girl with magical power.
Drawing on her experience as a photo stylist, Dziuk appropriates nature's ephemeral discards- wings, feathers, dragonflies, and shells-and makes them the protagonist in her elegant compositions. Carefully balancing darks and lights, positioning and cropping, Dziuk creates architectural arrangements rich in texture, pattern and mystery. The images hover between death and life, revealing the space in between things.
Michele Cohen Ph.D