Last week I was delighted to hear from photographer Jill Mathis.
Jill Mathis s a photographer who works in the rhelm of semantic combination; specifically, text and image. A sophisticated fusion blending these two modes of information to create a compositive visual form, Mathis’ images are formed with a foundation of narrative from chosen words/terms in Ingmar Bergman films (and subsequently shot in Bergman-inspired locations). The versimilitude of her images is only made stronger, more apparant with the addition of these selected words.
Mathis’ subtle placement of text-to-image is as important as crop, shape, form and subject. If we take ‘courage’, for example, we see a strengthing embrace – or hold, Type is placed significantly above the heart, a spiritual location; and the text is placed just above meeting, entwined hands. The tonality and crispness of the image implies a seriousness, a casual crisis. Is this courage a needed motion without reach, a place above ourselves to we must attain to? Is this woman requiring courage, or causing it? Is it attainable, or out-of-reach? I adore its ambiguity, caused quite profoundly with the type placement, creating a successful narrative for the viewer to reach into. And only the best photographs do this.
I’ll let you enjoy the work from Dreaming of Ingmar Bergman (available here) that she has kindly shared with us; be sure to visit Mathis’ website and Facebook Page to view more work, and keep up-to-date with exhibition and news.