• By Walkertown Branch
  • Posted Thursday, March 25, 2021

Double Exposures Photography Show at Walkertown

An exhibit of Walkertown artist Hughes Grogan’s photography is now on display at the Walkertown Branch Library. His “Smokes and Double Exposures” show will run through the end of December. Several pieces are from Grogan’s smoke sculpture series. He uses a strobe light to illuminate incense smoke, and then inverts and colorizes his images digitally. Also on display are his newest photographs which feature the combination of photos into double exposures.

All pieces are for sale.

Interview with Hughes Grogan conducted by the Walkertown Branch librarian Natalia Tuchina.

Natalia Tuchina (NT): Why did you do this show?

Hughes Grogan (HG): I did this show to share my abstract work - with the emphasis on print quality - with my local Walkertown community. One of the reasons I was really excited about it was to see how my new double exposures will print on canvas material. My main goal was to use some unique and interesting compositions and layered effects with the double exposures.

NT: And what is the double exposure?

HG: Double exposure is the result of two images combined while they blend together and create a unique piece of artwork.

NT: What do you like about photography?

HG: I started in the 1970s with a big swinger camera Polaroid. Then, in the early 70s, I started doing my own black and white photography. In the 2000s I got involved in digital photography. I worked for a printing company and was constantly working with images. It’s my passion.

NT: And tell us about your latest Smokes series.

HG: Oh yes, I was taking pictures of incense smoke, and then I took them into Photoshop and reversed them, inverted them, and then colorized them. And it's came out very unique, very abstract, very interesting. I am always inspired by not really knowing how the shape of smokes will look. The “surprise factor” is driving me to explore more and more. I am looking for a unique way of having something organic and abstract. The smoke just intrigued me. After initially sharing this new technique, I received enthusiastic feedback from different folks.

NT: Do you have support from your family?

HG: My children and my wife are my support team. I get a lot of feedback from my Facebook group. I'm also a member of the Sawtooth Photo League and I get valuable feedback from them too. I am very demanding of myself and the quality of what I do. I see feedback as a very valuable tool to help me grow and to make my work better.

NT: Difference shapes of smokes definitely spark the imagination.

HG: Yes it does. I like what people see. They’ll say: “That one looks like a flower! Or a horse’s head! The one in the middle is a dragon!” I like that my abstracts are unique. I don't try to compete with other photographers who have a large format and do it professionally. I do mine for fun - and for people to see unique things.

NT: Is this your only hobby?

HG: Oh, I enjoy watching movies. I enjoy learning photography, different techniques, and learning from other photographers. I love going to museums and seeing compositions and how painters work with different subject matters. I really love going to SECCA, going to the Reynolda Museum of American Arts, Weatherspoon Gallery in Greensboro. I think it's great to see what other artists are doing and how they use color, subjects and compositions.

NT: You live in Walkertown. What do you like about your home town?

HG: The library! It's a cultural center, a place for people to vote, to learn things, to attend music concerts, to read. I like to read autobiographies and travel books. It’s wonderful having the library! The first thing I was glad to hear was re-open. Thanks for the opportunity to display at the Walkertown Library.

NT: Thank you very much!

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