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JANIS SAWYER

ARTWORK PAGES: 1 - 2

Movie: HOLDING STILL

"Ritual"

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Story from the Seaside Times May 2008

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Janis and Fred Sawyer have lived on Forest Street since 1988.  They were just passing through some twenty years ago, pulled their rented RV over and camped several nights at the park in Grayton Beach.  It was empty then — just one RV, scrub oak, dunes and the Ranger.

“I think we could do this for a while,” said Janis.

And they have been here ever since.

Many years before the Sawyers moved to Seaside, Janis became partially paralyzed.  She spends her days working from her bed as an assistant for the photographer Dawn Anderson. She sorts and edits the numerous shots that document such special events.

Several months ago she became interested in making her own photographic images.  Without direct reference to the event that changed her life, her artwork is still informed by the trauma.

Fred put a wireless digital camera out on the porch and rigged up a remote control. Janis began taking pictures of Forest Street at odd times in strange weather. The resulting images are a singular vision.

“I don’t get out much, but with the SpyCam I do travel and can see around corners.” says Janis.

Since then they have continued to collaborate on their “SpyCam” approach to aesthetics. Fred is printing the images with particular attention to detail as he was printer in another life. Some afternoons he takes his camera to the beach to bring the sunsets back to Janis. 

In addition to the strong minimalist still shots, Janis is experimenting with creating animations. One called “I Dance I Dance” is the waltz of her flamingo decorations in the air above her.

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Some of the still shots are haunting, some have the magic of ice crystals on the lens, and all are recording the unseen life of Janis Sawyer. Soon Janis had a collection of images large enough to see she held an individual position. Something about each of those images was embued with Janis.

Eileen West Gallery was honored to host her solo show. Here are some of the images available from that show.

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"7 AM"

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"Next Door"

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"Cat's Eye"

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Sawyer's work is available through the gallery as prints at $180. each. Prints are matted to 8" x 10" and printed on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper

with an Epson Professional Printer using archival inks.

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JANIS SAWYER 1 - 2

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