Kaleidoscopic foliage ‘leaves’ library patrons smiling

Artist Kira Seamon poses with her photography exhibit. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

By Mary Kate Nolan
Hometown Weekly Intern

In the lobby of the Wellesley Free Library, artist Kira Seamon studied her work at a distance, clothed in nature as if she were emerging from the Garden of Eden. Flowers adorned her white-blonde curls and her breezy shawl floated behind her with soft hues of brown, green, and yellow. She topped off her eccentric style with an ornate and sparkling silver necklace. Seamon was a walking reflection of her art: colorful and bold, yet natural and open. She fluttered around from frame to frame, delightfully eager to explain her work, titled “Stained Glass Sky,” to curious library patrons.

Brilliant shades of pink and purple burst from this photograph, in which one can see the distinct shapes and textures of the leaves. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

Brilliant shades of pink and purple burst from this photograph, in which one can see the distinct shapes and textures of the leaves. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

With a kaleidoscopic lens and an iPhone, Seamon aimed to capture the latent beauty of trees and the colors of their autumn foliage in a fun and experimental style. The photographs burst with life, color, and shapes. Part of what makes the photos so remarkable and surprising is that they are not color-corrected, but rather showcase the authentic colors of the trees.

She drew inspiration from Picasso, Goya, and the cutouts of Matisse and strived to reflect their dramatic use of color and shapes in her own work. She first experimented with the kaleidoscope technique on flowers and Christmas lights, until settling her focus on fall foliage.

Seamon sought out trees with a spectrum of colors, particularly on the Wellesley College campus, so as to create something of a rainbow effect across her exhibit. While the first photos tucked away around the wall’s corner predominantly feature black tree bark with small, geometric glimpses of a light blue sky, the images grow more colorful along the line of photos, with striking greens, reds, and yellows, to finally resolve with frames of white birch bark. Distinct repeated shapes tie the juxtaposed frames together, which, according to Seamon, doubles their effect.

Seamon eagerly explains her inspiration for the photographs to a library patron. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

Seamon eagerly explains her inspiration for the photographs to a library patron. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

Seamon has been overwhelmed with positive feedback on her work. One viewer wrote, “Thank you for bringing color, especially natural color, newly seen, into our world.”

Three kaleidoscopic images featured in Seamon’s exhibit. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

Three kaleidoscopic images featured in Seamon’s exhibit. Photo by Mary Kate Nolan

Seamon’s career is about as dynamic as her art, and includes dance performance, dance instruction, and a clothing line modeled after her art. She brings the energy and creativity from each of these areas into her photography, which jumps off of the walls as if it resents the ordinary black frames that contain it.

If you can’t wait for autumn to see some breathtaking New England foliage, take a trip over to the Wellesley Free Library.

You’re in for a real tree-t.

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