Essex Library’s May Artist Exhibit By Photographer Tony Donovan

April 30, 2015

tony 4.tifA photography exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association through the month of May featuring guest artist, Tony Donovan. Items in the exhibit will be for sale with the Essex Library receiving a 20% donation from each sale.

Ivoryton resident Tony Donovan began his photography career in Ireland in north Belfast in the early 1970’s. As he puts it: “It was a difficult place to take pictures, the people were on-edge and wary; suspicious of a stranger.” He shot street scenes and people he befriended, mostly children, with a handheld Leica and the available light. The situation was extreme since he had no control over events and that has shaped his work ever since. He considers himself a documentary, artistic photographer seeking to make expressive, poetic pictures from life. The photograph’s subject is the most important consideration for him.

Donovan has also captured woodsman Amos Congdon at his Lyme, CT sawmill. Congdon makes the perfect image of the American past; sharpening a saw, feeding cattle and tallying a woodlot. A sawmill is a wonderful place to take photos with its patterns of circles and squares, scattered pieces of wood and the lines lumber produces.

Donovan has been photographing a summer basketball tournament, more recently, for a number of years, even receiving a Middletown Commission on the Arts grant to do so in 2010. The Middletown Summer Hoopfest has offered Donovan the opportunity to record some of the drama, effort, spirit and grace played out in those games. He states, “Photography, like any creative process, often requires a subject that summons up in the artist the will and commitment to work over a long period of time. The Hoopfest has been such a subject for me. Certainly, these basketball images have an historic value and, hopefully, some of them attain a poetic worth.”

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