The Yonder Series traces a poetic visual narrative along the Amtrak Crescent line from Penn Station in NYC to New Orleans in Louisiana. The thirty-hour train journey induces deep reverie and contemplation.
The sequence of twenty images in ‘Yonder’ is concerned with a state of mind. The very concept of ‘yonder’ as ‘something within sight but not near’ becomes a metaphor in this work for a destination that is unattainable. We see in the melancholy photographs a circular rather than a linear movement toward a purposeful destination. Ennui takes the place of action and resolution. It is a journey without end. We never reach yonder.
This is not a story with a clear trajectory; these images are filmic and presented as a series of vignettes. Just as the speed of the train blurs and obscures our own memories of the past, we are in a state of transition from one place to the next. These concepts seem to emerge then fade as the slow then quickening pace of the train moves on its fixed legs of steel.The work of Papalexandris explores the psychological tensions of facing oneself in a confined space, where time seems to distort and personal reflections becomes burdensome. The ‘real’ images out the window become like a stage for thoughts. Memories move across time and space. There is a dreamlike suspension in the images. Are we there on this train or are we in our past, reliving what we can in snapshot recall? Who are the protagonists of this story? Surely, the aim of Art is to deepen the mystery, as Francis Bacon said.
Yet in the end, we retain only selective images, the ‘landmarks’ that are fixed in our consciousness. The view outside the cabin windows of the train acts in the same way; we are at once amid the urban decay, the romantic melancholia of the landscape blurred by sheets of rain and then taken indoors to dark hotel rooms, only to return to the platforms and the on the train once again. There is a brooding heavy atmosphere in the sequence of images, a suffocating lack of light and air as the world is passively observed from the window.
About Jenny Papalexandris
Jenny Papalexandris is a Visual Artist based in Australia. She holds a Master of Art (1997) and a Bachelor of Education (Art) 1987 from the University of NSW in Sydney.She explores photography as a subjective response to the world of light and shadow. Her photographs are highly expressive and visually commanding. Thematically rich and diverse, her photography is imbued with a strong sense of poetry, symbolism and metaphor.They are personal records tracing universal themes of loss, identity, the body as metaphor and nature. Her work, at times reveals a brooding, introspective questioning of her subjects to arrive at a sense of mystery and wonder.The common thread in her diverse body of work is the impulse to ‘sense’ rather than ‘see.’ Her work reveals a singular vision explored with rigor and sensitivity, both visually and conceptually. Jenny Papalexandris continues to exhibit both nationally and internationally. She participated in the Ten Diez International Art Event, held at the prestigious Magma Galleries in Tenerife, Spain. She has also exhibited in Album: Telling with Light held at the Garage Bonci in Italy. Her work has been shown extensively in the USA, at the Darkroom Gallery and The Center for Fine Art Photography, in Colorado, the South East Center for Photography in South Carolina and Gallery 1650 in Los Angeles. Recently, Jenny participated as an Associated Artist at the Head On International Photo Festival in Sydney Australia. She has been the recipient of numerous Art Awards. Her work has been included in various publications and media including Lens Scratch, ND Magazine, Lens Culture and Parallel Vision. In 2016, The New Press published Papalexandris’ photography book, Five Bells_ Being LGBT in Australia, designed and art directed by EWS Design (NYC) and funded by the Arcus Foundation (NYC) The book was a two-year project that was launched at Aperture Foundation in New York City. [Official Website]