The June Bateman Fine Art is pleased to present "SPIRITUAL BEINGS" a solo exhibition of black and white photographs by Sheila Rock. Ms. Rock's work has previously been included in two group shows at the June Bateman Fine Art. "SPIRITUAL BEINGS" ties together work from two series: Sheila Rock's well known portraits of Horses and her more recent portraits of Tibetan monastic life as seen in Sera: the Way of the Tibetan Monk, a monograph published in 2003 by Columbia University Press. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, March 10, 2004, and will run through Saturday, April 17, 2004. An artist's reception and book signing will take place on Wednesday, March 10 from 6 to 8 P.M. The gallery is located at 560 Broadway, Suite 309, and is open Tues. through Sat. from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M. Ms. Rock's photographs will be exhibited concurrently at the Photographers Gallery in London, England.
Sheila Rock's portraits slow the natural movement of her subjects along with our perception of them, dissolving barriers between cultures, religions and even, inter-species relations. Her Horses are quiet and deeply contemplative. Rock has said of the series: "The photography in this collection of pictures is a personal exploration of the beauty and spirit of the Horse. It is a celebration of the poetic quality of an animal of great strength, power, and gentleness. With no words between us, I tried to capture some pure expression and emotionalism from each animal. Often a chance movement or the expression in their stance conveyed this inner spirit." These elegant portraits were made in England, at times with painted backdrops reminiscent of the realist paintings of English landscapist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788).
Sheila Rock's powerful portraits made at Sera Jey Monastery in Mysore, India - where over 5000 Tibetan monks live in exile - are testament to the strength and resilience of a persecuted people. Robert A. F. Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Columbia University, writes in his Forward to Sera: the Way of the Tibetan Monk: "Perhaps Sheila Rock felt the power . . . in these faces, as she was enfolded in the atmosphere of this ancient theater of inquiry into the deepest matters, the 'great matter' of life and death, of endless, unnecessary bondage and ultimate, infinite liberation. This drew her back again and again. She opened the lens of her camera, the gateway of her artistic sensitivity, the doorway of her heart. And so her luminous pictures focus on the clear light at the heart of the life of this ancient monastery. To visit with her pictures is to enter this sacred yet lively space, sublime yet earthly realm, human yet divine serenity, ordinary yet extraordinary intelligence and sensitivity."
Sheila Rock was born in the United States and has lived and worked in London since 1970. Since 1979 she has had a successful career photographing the entertainment and music industry. Subjects include artists such as Placido Domingo, Sting, Youssou N'Dour, Kenji Omura and Enya, and institutions such as the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet in London. Sheila Rock's editorial work has appeared in German Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Architectural Digest, The London Sunday Times, French Spoon, The Telegraph Magazine UK, Grazzi Italia, Moda Italia, Irish Tattler, and Brides Magazine. Sheila Rock's Horses will be featured in an upcoming profile in Black and White Magazine (March-April, 2004). Photographs from Sera: the Way of the Tibetan Monk have recently appeared on the covers of British publications Black & White Photography, and The British Journal of Photography, and are featured in a seven page spread in a special Fiftieth Issue of Tricycle : The Buddhist Review (Winter 2003). Recent exhibitions in London, England include "ICONS OF POP" at the National Portrait Gallery and "THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S CUT: 1960-2000, Rock 'n Roll Years" at the Proud Gallery.
Sheila Rock: Spiritual Beings
March 10 - April 17, 2004
Artist's Reception: Thursday, January 22, 2004 6 - 8 PM