Rosanne Olson: Rapture, New York

Rosanne Olson opens Rapture at The Robin Rice Gallery, New York 8 May. For her third photography exhibition Olson creates a dream-based series where water becomes a metaphor for the sky. Olson’s use of colour is surreal and mysterious, in most of the images the light refracts off the water and the clouds blend together, developing a watercolour effect. Running until 16 June, Rapture records Olson’s photographic skill and unique artistic eye.

The artist refers to Rapture as “a biography of my dreams.” The series captures a world that lies just beyond consciousness, one where “time shifts, gravity loosens and we slip into another realm.” These images reflect a dream that Olson has had since childhood where she floats weightless in the sky. To obtain the surreal quality, Olson photographed her subjects from above in swimming pools in Seattle, Washington combining images with clouds photographed mostly in North Dakota, where she grew up and visits each summer. The final photographs are ethereal in effect.

Each of the photographs in the series is carefully composed but there is also a level of unpredictably to photographing women and vintage dresses in water. Incredibly delicate, the dress in Into the Clouds is over one hundred years old, made of lace. To capture both, she shoots instinctively, reacting as clothing and body position continually change. Yet when it comes to her models she strives to create a meditative situation, “the subjects need to be relaxed so the water is calm, which is hard to do when gravity is pulling down.

Rosanne Olson: Rapture, 8 May – 16 June, The Robin Rice Gallery, 325 West 11th Street, NYC 10014.

1. Rosanne Olson, Rapture, Dreams, 2010, courtesy of The Robin Rice Gallery and the artist.
2. Rosanne Olson, Dreams 2010, courtesy of The Robin Rice Gallery and the artist.
3. Rosanne Olson, Rapture, Turning Point, 2010, courtesy of The Robin Rice Gallery and the artist.