There is a certain therapeutic element to the restless pounding of the waves against the sandy shore, how the ocean rises up to kiss the earth even after it’s pushed away time and time again. “Wave,” an exhibit by award-winning photographer, Roe Anne White, embodies the timeless power of the ocean through photographic images.
White first uncovered her passion for photography as a student at the University of Southern California where she received the gift of her first Nikon camera. This discovery propelled her to incorporate photography classes into her class schedule and ultimately led her to sail the seas after graduation where she immersed herself in her love for photography and the ocean. Two dozen of her photographs were published in a large format photography book, Harbors of Enchantment. Later, she continued her training in photography and the art of composition at UCLA.
Essentially, White’s dedication to photography and nature culminated in the birth of “wave.” While water has been my focus for many years, the ocean is my passion. Discovering the stillness in a wave the moment before it breaks and serenity in the
designs left when the waves retreat is the work being featured in ‘wave’,” says White. “Environmental issues have also been a focus in my life. Its conservation was vividly brought home to me during my sailing years.”
Bringing back memories of her time out in the ocean, White recounts, “In the Bay of Biscay, in 1973, we found the coastline littered with plastics, in the Mediterranean we found it nearly fished out, and in Ocean Passages of the World, which has been used for centuries by sailors to determine the best seasons to make passages, we found was no longer dependable. There are so many areas of the environment that need our attention, but the oceans are the dearest to me.”
White’s photographs convey a sense of haunting zen, drawing the viewer in with its breathtaking allure. According to White, “In my environmental abstracts, I am looking for a sense of peace, for details that are too often missed. Like a painter who knows instinctually when a painting is completed, I know when I have captured something that shows me that nature is in balance.”
The ultimate hope behind “wave” lies in a multi-faceted take on environmental awareness. The environment provides us with healing elements and in turn, we should take the necessary steps to ensure its sustainability.
When asked what she loves best about her line of work, White responds, “I am never happier than when I am looking through my camera at an abstract detail in the environment or another human being. The beauty in either subject reaches through the lens to the very heart of me. The subsequent images are utterly satisfying to me, both aesthetically and emotionally…In my environmental abstracts, I am looking for a sense of peace, for details that are too often missed. Like a painter who knows instinctually when a painting is completed, I know when I have captured something that shows me that nature is in balance.”
White’s photography has been displayed at the Art Circle Gallery in Culver City, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art Rental & Sales Gallery, in addition to the Santa Paula Art Museum, Westmont Museum of Art, and Sullivan Goss in Santa Barbara. The recipient of a grant from The John E. Profant Foundation for the Arts, White also won the Judges Award at The Architectural Foundation’s exhibition “Gems of Santa Barbara.”
“Wave” will take place at the Porch from September 7 to October 31. The artist reception is Saturday, September 8 from 3-5 p.m. Porch is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit Roe Anne White’s website here. Porch is located at 3823 Santa Claus Ln., Carpinteria.