An Otherworldly Glow: Linda Devenow at the O’Brien Photo Gallery
This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program. I’m back from reporting from the big galleries in London to do a deep dive into a pocket gallery in Eugene.
On Halloween, I found myself at the O’Brien Photo Gallery at 2833 Willamette. The gallery packs a lot of visual excitement into a tiny space, currently showing about a dozen or more framed images by infrared photographer Linda Devenow.
You have to immerse yourself in infrared photos to really absorb the magic. The infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum lies beyond the red. This portion of the spectrum is invisible to human eyes. It produces images that are not possible with conventional photographic films. This is Linda Devenow’s world.
In the gallery, I am focusing on three large local landscapes. I walk visually into the landscapes and the world turns into a dream of wintery whites. This is the infrared effect, which reverses black and white.The trees are white, and the river and sky are black. This profound reversal in how the world appears gives an interior quality to the images, a feeling of psychological weight.
This series was taken on March 26,2020, a day of mourning for Devenow. Linda, who fosters and homes special needs cats, had just experienced the devastating loss of five of her companions in a short time. Her loss is reflected in the pale, otherworldly, even ghostly trees. A river or solitary path runs through each of these three photos, heightening the sense of being alone—and yet there is this sublime purity of light. We’re lost in a Dreamscape, a time out of time.
Other photos round out the show— a barn in a Junction City pasture caught in a divine noose of light.
Linda Devenow’s show will be open until Nov. 30.
This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.