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20th Anniversary Issue: Anne Berry

As part of F-Stop Magazine’s 20th anniversary celebration we invited past featured photographers to share with us some thoughts and reflections. We asked each photographer to consider how their photographic work has changed over time, how the changes in photography over the past 20 years may have affected or influenced that change, and to share what they are up to most recently.

By Anne Berry

Lulu, 2014, from Behind Glass

When I begin to use photography as my primary art medium around 2008, I was frequently traveling to Europe, and I visited and photographed the animals in small zoos. I ultimately focused on making portraits of primates, and this project resulted in a book, Behind Glass, published in 2021. I learned a great deal about designing and publishing a photo book through completing a book project (Primates) with 21st Editions in 2017 and through studying with Elizabeth Avedon, Mary Virginia Swanson, Douglas Stockdale, Melanie McWhorter, and Laurie Shock. There are many decisions that go into the creation of a book, from design, editing and sequencing to choices of printer and materials. Going through the process many times of sequencing and editing the photographs helped me understand my intention and also create a stronger body of work.

Boma, 2012 from Behind Glass

Martina, 2016, from Behind Glass

From photographing primates in captivity throughout Europe, I turned to my own backyard and begin exploring the child in nature and the coastal wilderness of Georgia’s barrier islands. These images have a similar feel to my earlier work because I work the same way, quietly and patiently, only the subjects have changed. I also continue to use vintage lenses. The work still speaks to conservation and preservation of nature and to raising children who will value and protect the natural environment and its creatures. The way I print has changed because the papers for pigment inks have improved. The Behind Glass images are silver gelatin, and I print the newer projects on Hahnemühle photo rag baryta.

Brigid’s Ram, 2020, from Ode to Enchantment

Porcupine’s Protection, 2018, from Ode to Enchantment

Cellar Door, 2022, from Ode to Enchantment

I am passionate about exploring and sharing the magic of Georgia’s coastal wilderness, I facilitate an artist residency, Southern Wild Artist Residency (formerly called Pigs Fly Retreats) on Cumberland Island every year. To be living for several days in this hauntingly beautiful, wild place, sharing ideas and working with creative and talented artists, forming friendships and community is probably the single most important thing that has not only influenced my photography but has fulfilled me and inspired me to continue to grow and to produce new work.

Magic Shell, 2020, from Ode to Enchantment

In 2013 I started learning the process of making photogravures. I bought an etching press and studied with Clay Harmon in Asheville and Paul Taylor at Renaissance Press in NH. My favorite part of this process is inking and printing the plates, sometimes attaching Kozo tissue to the image (chine collé). My aim is to create images that are photographic yet not entirely photographs. This work is featured in Clay Harmon’s Polymer Photogravure: A Step by Step Manual Highlighting Artists and their Creative Practice (2019) and in Zhou Jirong, Photogravure- Printmaking (China, 2021).

Shark Eyes, 2021, from Ode to Enchantment

The Cormorant’s Visit, 2023, from Ode to Enchantment

Donkeys at the Welcome Tree, Ossabaw Island, 2016, from Land of the Yaupon Holly

Piebald, 2018, from Land of the Yaupon Holly

Changing Tide, 2019, from Land of the Yaupon Holly

Choices, Cumberland Island, 2021

Gertrude, Cumberland Island, 2021

The Thicket, Tolomato Island, 2023

Palm Wings, 2017, photogravure

Rope and Wire, 2023, photogravure with chine collé

ower by the Sea, 2023, photogravure with chine collé

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