This contemporary love story between painter and photographer is synergized by creativity, connects with the past, inspires the present and transforms photography into the future. After decades of creating independently, social media brought Holly Gordon and Ward Hooper together. They immediately saw parallels in their creative processes and execution; but it was the discovery that they were inadvertently inspired by the same landscapes as Arthur Dove and Helen Torr, two early 20th century artists, that turns this dynamic collaborative pairing into a time traveler tale that is all true.
He paints, she photographs and together they’ve achieved artistic harmony. The bond between Northport watercolor artist Ward Hooper and Bay Shore photographer Holly Gordon permeates this contemporary art book that serves as a tribute to the Long Island landscape as well their close friendship and their talents. The eye-catching images are both striking and complementary, such as the page featuring motorcyclist photo “V-a-r-o-o-m!” on a left-hand page and his watercolor “Tony and His Harley” on the right. Adding insight is a running dialogue between Gordon and Hooper that gives readers a chance to really get to know them. “It’s as if we’ve been friends our whole lives,” Hooper says to Gordon. That comes through loud and clear.
Press / Media
Long Island Woman Magazine provides first glimpse into book
The Islip Bulletin promotes AARP virtual exhibit and book
Dove/Torr Cottage Featured in Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration
The Dove/Torr Cottage, the historic studio and home of American artists Helen Torr (1886-1967) and Arthur Dove (1880-1946), is highlighted in two new books published this spring. The Dove/Torr Cottage in Centerport, NY, became part of The Heckscher Museum of Art in 1998. The Museum has an extensive number of works by Torr and Dove in its collection.
Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios reviews historic artist sites across the U.S. It includes information on each and details about the artists themselves. The book is authored by Valerie Balint, program manager, Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS), an organization created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This is the first guidebook from the organization, which conveys “each artist’s visual legacy and sets each site in the context of its architecture and landscape.” In 2000, the Dove/Torr Cottage became one of only 20 historic artists’ homes and studios nationwide to be accepted into the HAHS Program, which now numbers 44 sites.
Holly Gordon, a photographer whose pictures of the Cottage appear in the guidebook (and on our website) has co-authored a new art book with her partner, painter Ward Hooper.
Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration revisits some of Long Island’s most scenic sites with Gordon’s photography and Hooper’s painting interpreting the same scenes. According to Gordon, their relationship began on Facebook when a mutual friend pointed out their similar aesthetics. A road trip to the Dove/Torr Cottage was planned when Hooper admitted he was not familiar with the artists’ work, and Gordon had never been to where the artists she knew well had lived. Gordon and Hooper found their inspiration in many of the same North Shore locations that Dove and Torr frequented. “The more I delved into the specifics of the art of Dove and Torr, the more I discovered vast similarities in motivation and process to what we were all about,” said Gordon. Hooper’s painting of the cottage, showing Gordon in the corner photographing the site, is a highlight. It now hangs in her home.
Holly Gordon’s My Heckscher Story
“The 100 Year Celebration of The Heckscher Museum of Art marks a time to reflect on the past and project to the future. The uncanny connections between the Heckscher and me go back for decades. Two books, of which both the Heckscher and I are integral parts, emerged during this 100-year celebration, and pose an intriguing question: is it destiny or serendipity that brings us together?
Intertwining roots were establishing themselves long before there was conscious realization. As a former art teacher, I brought my classes to the Heckscher to expand and enrich their art experiences, knowledge and lives.
In 2010 my Foggy Harbor photograph was part of the first Heckscher Long Island Biennial, and I was one of five exhibiting artists selected to discuss my creative process for the Viewpoints event.
The publication of Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration, a visual memoir art book erupted from the North Shore Long Island landscape and irrefutably intertwines me to the Heckscher Museum of Art through the connection of Arthur Dove and Helen Torr. When watercolorist Ward Hooper and I were brought together in 2014, our meeting grew into an extraordinary collaboration.
Our relationship and experiences paralleled so many of early 20th century abstract artists, Arthur Dove and Helen Torr, who lived and loved here 75 years earlier. Was it destiny or serendipity that brought us together?
Ward knew of their cottage and in minutes navigated me to it. Our link to the Dove-Torr past became concrete. Ward and I each explored the location to create our personal interpretations of the cottage; but best of all, Ward had photographed me photographing the cottage and made me a painting that memorializes the moment. I renamed my Cold Spring Harbor Pond image, Indian Summe, and it began to dawn on me that we might be doing something greater than ourselves. Both Dove and I shared a spiritual connection with Nature. He was in the forefront of abstract art. Technology is changing photography as we know it my Photo-Liminalism process is part of the change…
…A love story of friendship and renewal. Holly and Ward were meant to meet to discover their connection through art and nature. Two wonderful artists exploring life together through the warmth of colors, brush and lens strokes and subjects they created separately at different times and then together revealing their deep passion for life, friendship and art.
Delighted to have exhibited Brush/Lens images in the Salena Gallery in Fall 2017. This ongoing collaboration between artists Holly Gordon and Ward Hooper is a creative synergy that inspires each other and produces rich visual experiences for the viewer.
“This aesthetically appealing book brings together the best of photography and painting in a fresh, innovative, and engaging manner described as Photo-Liminalism. Inspired in part by the artists’ personal life journeys and challenges, the visual synergies created are colorful, evocative, and transformational.”
In these colorful pages we are able to see similarities and differences with which these two artists have gleaned from beholding the same subjects. Here we see that both painting and photography intensify and clarify the visual experience. The photographic images go well beyond the standard of documenting a mummified naturalism.
The arts play a role in almost every facet of a regions’ vibrancy and humanity. Such it is with Long Island whose soul, culture, tourism, and economy benefit strongly through the arts it supports. With that understanding, Long Island is fortunate to have its’ images portrayed and enjoyed not only by Long Islanders but those outside the region through this photographic and painting collaboration between artists Holly Gordon and Ward Hopper. Their creativity and sensitivity to the things around us that we take for granted can only sharpen our vision and enhance Long Island.
In examining the artistic processes and personal narratives of Gordon and Hooper, this book celebrates the endless potential of exploration.
Gordon and Hooper’s collaboration is a story of the visual arts, of creative relationships, and the landscape itself. As the Director of Islip Arts Council land manager of the Islip Art Museum, I am proud to say that we have exhibited these artists and their collaborative works. The June 2019 with Holly Gordon as the Curator of The Art of Collaboration, inspired by this collaboration, was an invitation for other artists to collaborate and discover. The exhibition was a resounding success.
The world of color is a world of magic. Since the early days when artists created works with pigments in the inner sanctums of caves, to the Middle Ages when they kept their color recipes a secret from the world, theirs has been a mystical vocation. Looking at the vibrant works in this book, it’s as if Ward Hooper’s paintings were waiting for Holly Gordon’s photographic images. They make you remember the summery days of childhood, songs you loved, people and places you miss. Their works, side by side as they are in this book, create a whole that is far greater than its magical parts.
Parallel Perspectives is a visual harvest of the natural beauty that surrounds us, creating lasting sights that celebrate what talented artists have always quested for: the light. Holly Gordon finds images and builds digital layers that blend an unflinching assessment by a documentary photographer and environmentalist with a painterly sensitivity; Ward Hooper’s loose brushstrokes capture the ever-shifting light and shadow through watercolors that are as elusive as the light. Their collaboration continues to produce treasures of stunning, memorable beauty.
Ward Hooper a well-accomplished watercolorist uses a vibrant palette, and energetic brushwork that gives a feeling of immediate urgency in capturing a location. His paintings from days gone by inspired Holly Gordon to use her camera’s eye and photographic tools to create expressive interpretations of the same location. A few months later Holly Gordon’s original works inspired Ward to begin to paint again. This is a rare opportunity to view the work of 2 artists collaborating together and capturing the ordinary to the extraordinary lifestyles of Long Island.
Brush-Lens Project Opening: Before the debut exhibition
Brush-Lens Project Opening: At the reception after
TV host entertainment Journalist Cognac Wellerlane interviews photographer Holly Gordon
Final–Parallel Perspectives “Collaboration”
Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration “The Beginning” Narration”
Parallel Perspectives Inspiration (Narration) -2
Parallel Perspectives “Innovation” (Narration)
Parallel Perspectives “Resilience”
Oh Brother presents “Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration”
Oh Brother presents “Parallel Perspectives: The Brush/Lens Collaboration”
West Islip Public Library Art Book Talk: “Parallel Perspectives”