By Amie Speroni
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
Photographer Judy Brown spent her Texas childhood dreaming of "Living on a farm surrounded by animals. In suburban Massachusetts a couple of years ago, I discovered that my fantasy farm exists in real life just up the street." This lifelong love of animals, an interest in detail, and an appreciation for beauty in perhaps unexpected places, culminated in Ms. Brown's photography exhibit, “All the Pretty Horses,” which was shown at the Dover Public Library through July 22.
Her images, which largely focus on a horse named Elliott in his stall, are bare at first glance; tightly framed, and shot in black and white. Closer inspection reveals a world of texture and play between light and shadow. Each shot captures the elegance of Elliott's form. His movement and energy become palpable even in the stillness of a photograph. It is clear that each moment is alive.
"As a photographer,” said Brown, “I’ve found fascination and pleasure in revealing hidden textures. I have a deep-seated love of horses from a childhood in Texas, and the strong lines of this ethereal creature became an ideal muse." She is not, however, exclusively interested in horses for their obvious majesty. "I find beauty in dirty faces and dripping saliva," she said. Her attuned focus elevates her exploration of texture.
There is also more than art at stake for Brown, who hopes her work will inspire people to see even non-domestic animals as unique, living creatures worthy of humane treatment and love.
“My images focus closely on individual animals. I capture their personalities and humanlike qualities - their questions, their curiosity, their wish for affection, and their offer of friendship along with their ever powerful appetites,” Brown remarked. “Ideally, I hope my images might help lead to more humane treatment for these animals."
To this end, she also acts as a volunteer photographer for cats that are up for adoption.
For more information about Judy Brown, visit http://www.judybrownphotography.com/.