Block Island Times

Thea Monje at Spring Street

To perennially exist between seasons is to live year-round on Block Island. As a local, growing up on-island has given me a respect for the impermanence of familiar spaces; this liminality is what I choose to focus on in my photographs. My showing at The Spring Street Gallery opens on Tuesday, July 17, with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will be on display through Sunday, July 22.
It took many different phases of art for me to finally land on photography. Drawing and painting were gratifying practices, but not immediately gratifying. When I discovered digital photography, I had finally found a type of art that accommodated the speed at which I like to work. This works well for me, because on Block Island, everything moves and changes quickly: timing is everything.
I photograph liminal places, those which are familiar to island locals. For example, the ferry is one of my favorite spaces, a well-acquainted-with location that undergoes extreme change throughout the seasons. Another is the area around Sachem Pond, which seasonally reinvents itself through foliage, habitation, color, and purpose. In a place where everything is in a constant cycle of growing and fading, it is important to document moments that will disappear with the seasons or even at a moment’s notice.
I’ve chosen to visually confine myself over the years, having sold all my zoom lenses in favor of a single 50mm lens. This forces me to foster a close relationship with space and my immediate surroundings, knowing that I cannot zoom in or out to capture a wider or narrower field of vision. I am constantly running around to get the shot that I want, which adds an element of fun to the whole process. The constraints of shooting at 50mm have never dissuaded me.


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